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Unemployed people are NOT better off on social welfare

Social Justice Ireland welcomes the publication of the ESRI report on ‘Tax, Welfare and Work Incentives’ which finds that 8 out of 10 people receiving welfare payments would increase their income by at least 50% if they were to obtain a job. These findings comprehensively refute the argument that most unemployed people ‘are better off on the dole’.

Social Justice Ireland  has always argued that when jobs are available Irish people will take them up and that there has been an unfair scapegoating of unemployed people as people making a ‘lifestyle choice’ to take a social welfare payment rather than take up a job. This report clearly shows that unemployed people would significantly increase their income if they took up a job
Another important feature of the report is that it highlights that only 13% of those who are unemployed are entitled to Rent and Mortgage supplements dispelling the myth that because of supplementary entitlements people would rather stay on job-seekers assistance or benefit rather than take up a job that has been offered to them.
In light of the publication of the Irish Fiscal Advisory Council’s first report and their proposal that the government should further reduce expenditure in Budget 2012 this ESRI report is a very important reminder of what the impact of introducing further austerity measures will be: 
  • There will be less economic activity;
  • There will be less growth;
  • Domestic demand will continue to fall (it fell by €714m or -2.2% in  Q2 2011 and in August 2011 domestic demand was  3% lower than in Auguest
·         The labour market needs domestic demand in order to grow;
·         Without domestic demand jobs will not be created and those who are unemployed will find themselves in an even more precarious position. 
us position. 
To Full ESRI report can be downloaded below

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PDF icon Full ESRI report1.49 MB