There is no justification for reducing social welfare rates. Research produced by Social Justice Ireland shows that the take-home pay of TDs rose by €848 a WEEK since 1986 while unemployment benefit rates only rose by €135 in the same period. Government ministers’ take-home pay rose by more than €1,533 a WEEK in the same period. There is no way a TD, Senator or Government minister can justify voting for a cut in welfare rates given these developments over a quarter of a century. Welfare recipients are among Ireland’s poorest and most vulnerable people. They should and can be protected.
Further details are available in the bar chart at the foot of this page.
Government has other choices available to it such as spreading the ‘hit’ for Ireland’s bank rescue more fairly by eliminating tax-breaks, by insisting the corporate sector make a contribution to Ireland’s recovery and by ensuring bond holders share some part of the cost of recovery that Ireland requires following on their gambling on Ireland’s banks.
Social Justice Ireland’s research (cf. table and chcart below) also shows that over the period 1986-2011:
- The take-home pay of clerical officers in the public sector rose by €391 a week.
- The take-home pay of a person on the average industrial wage rose by €343 a week.
- The contributory old age pension for a single person rose by €162 a week.