If I got a Euro for every time I have heard a business owner saying that the dole in Ireland is too high, there is a good chance I would be the proud owner of a Bentley and may be considering early retirement. Since the economic collapse in Ireland the rate of social welfare has seen a gradual reduction in most of the various payment types currently available. To be fair, for some the rates of weekly social welfare
payments that a minority may be receiving is unjust and to prevent taking away from the purpose of this article, no groups or individuals in Ireland will be mentioned. After all, we all know exactly who these people are. What I do want to point out is, that most business owners who take a swipe at the rate of social welfare payments are doing little to help employment wise.
Sure they get it too easy!
I don’t mind business owners writing an article in the national newspapers calling for the government to lower the jobseekers payments if they have many positions available at their own firms. There are simply too many hypocrites who are making genuine jobseekers sound like lazy and worthless citizens in Irish society. When I outline that they should give a job to a jobseeker, I am not talking about a JobBridge or any other scheme’s, which are in many instances are scams. Too many Irish businesses are using these schemes for free labour which in turn, projects false unemployment job figures at under 12%. What must be looked at, and is mostly ignored, is the underemployment rate is Ireland.
The underemployment rate is very high in Ireland. Poverty is increasing and the gap between the rich and poor is also widening. What underemployment means is that those who are currently employed are workers who are highly skilled working in low paid jobs, working in low skilled jobs or working in part time work who would rather to be in full time work. When those who are underemployed, it is very hard for those to spend money in other parts of the economy, outside of paying bills.
So is the dole too high?
New applications for the Jobseekers Allowance has been reduced in the 2014 Budget. Those 18 -24 will receive €100 per week. Those 25 will receive €144 which increases when they turn €188. When you have 12% of the Irish labour unemployed with a portion indebted you cannot cut the payments any lower or parts of the economy, notably the retail sector will suffer further.