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TDs take-home pay rose by €848 a WEEK while social welfare rates rose only €162 over past 25 years.

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.
People in receipt of social welfare payments are either in poverty or close to being in that situation. Reducing social welfare rates will simply condemn Ireland’s poorest and most vulnerable people to a life of misery as they take the ‘hit’ for actions they had no hand, act or part in. Social welfare rates should not be reduced. Other options are available and should be followed. 
Social Justice Ireland fully acknowledges the gravity of the present situation which has been caused by a variety of groups including government itself. Very difficult decisions must be made and made quickly if the present decline is to be reversed. It is in the interest of all Irish people that the correct decisions be made now.
It is totally unacceptable that Government targets the sick, the poor and the vulnerable to rescue Ireland while some of those who are among Ireland’s richest and/or most powerful groups are dispensed from making any contribution to rectifying the situation.
Social Justice Ireland believes a fairer future is possible. We urge Government to act fairly and justly at all times as it designs a pathway out of the present difficult situation. Such a pathway must not target the sick, the poor and the vulnerable. A fairer future can be shaped and reached without asking the weakest and poorest in society to bear the brunt of the adjustments required