Opinion This is a very dangerous pro-cyclical budget - the opposite of what we need

Discussion in 'Budget 2019' started by Brendan Burgess, 9 Oct 2018.

  1. Delboy

    Delboy Frequent Poster

    Last edited: 22 Oct 2018
    Apologies if I missed this being mentioned previously but the ratio of spend to tax cuts in the recent budget was a mind boggling 19:1.
    That's Bertie-esque levels of spending and then some!

    Last edited: 22 Oct 2018
    Purple likes this.
  2. gnf_ireland

    gnf_ireland Frequent Poster

    >>Total (capital and current) increases in voted public expenditure relative to Budget 2018 are €5.6bn.

    I don't mind capital expenditure so much because it tends to be one off, although the costs can be underestimated a bit
    Current expenditure tends to be very difficult to reduce year on year, so tends to only go in one direction unless times of economic necessity !
  3. gnf_ireland

    gnf_ireland Frequent Poster

    I had a big reply done for you but I had a technical error and lost it, so I will keep this one brief.

    I accept the number of people on career dole may be small percentage wise, but it still does not mean they should be rewarded. If they choose to go down this route, then during times of low unemployment the rate of JA should be cut. It is not only JA, but also all the other benefits they get along with it.
    In times of low unemployment, I fully believe people should have to 'work' for their dole and should contribute somewhat to the society they feel the urge to take from. Going back to the summer job scheme model - what is wrong with this as an approach, especially in conjunction with a training programme.

    Firstly, someone who has 7 dependents in school is not available for work, and therefore is not unemployed. They may be in receipt of welfare, but they should not be classified as available for work. I am talking about Jobseekers Allowance here, which explicitly is for people looking for work.

    Someone in the scenario above (and I do not want to step on Peter Casey toes here) is likely to have all their children by their late 20's. By the time they are 38, they will have spent 20 years on welfare, but their children (assume they are going to school) will all be in 1st class or higher. This means they are in school until 2:30-3:30 depending on the school. Should this person continue to be on uninterrupted welfare for another 30 years, without ever having contributed to the society they continue to take from? They are well able to work in the mornings while the children are at school - like so many parents have to do?
    I refuse to believe this person cannot find a way to work on a community scheme (even within their own communities) that allows a reduced spend somewhere on behalf of the tax-payer? If they are in a carer role for 20 years, surely that can be extended and support a carer role for others?
    Ultimately these perpetual cycles of welfare dependency need to be stopped, and I am a firm believer in a model if you want to be a welfare recipient for life, then you will have to engage with the system and at least spend reasonable chunks of the ~50 years from 18 to 68 on community job schemes. I just think 50 years on welfare is disgraceful in this day and age (before they even hit retirement)!

    I fully accept that there are types of welfare that support people who are unable to work, for whatever reason. I have absolutely no issue with those welfare amounts rising during economic prosperity. This is a totally different situation.

    I am talking about those who can work and choose not to. I simply don't believe anyone who is able to should be given a 50 year pass on the dole (between the ages of 18 and 68), without giving some of their time back to society.
    This could be volunteering at local sporting clubs or assisting gardening duties (elderly neighbours or common areas) or cutting grass in graveyards or assisting with digitisation of church records to help people trace their roots!! Whatever is good for the community they live in and that would be beneficial for the person themselves by providing them with mental health benefits of both exercise and work !
  4. TheBigShort

    TheBigShort Frequent Poster

    Last edited: 23 Oct 2018
    Who chooses to go down this route? Who chooses to be born into poverty, to live in a caravan, from town to town, finished school at 12? What child can make that decision by themselves?
    This is not a choice.

    If they are working they are not unemployed. If they are not unemployed they are not in receipt of dole. They are in receipt of a wage.


    My mother gave up formal employment in 1960's to become a housewife and raise 5 kids. She did this for all her adult life thereafter. She never went back into formal employment. She never received any welfare but I couldn't accept the notion that she did not contribute to society.

    Who are 'they' that you speak of? The woman with seven kids, two of which are not yet at school?

    With seven kids to look after, with no permanent home? What is exactly are you offering - lollipop lady? Placard holder? Bob-a-job?

    I agree. When you think of reasonable ideas that go to the core of why poverty traps exist in the first place then perhaps solutions might emerge.

    Here is a short study compiled by the fiscal institute in UCD. It concludes that even the poorest in society spend most of their working lives in (low paid) work.

    A Lifetime Perspective on Taxes, Benefits,Inequality and Redistribution

    The long-term unemployed rate is continuing to fall - 2.10% down from 2.5%
    Have you ever considered that the 2.10% are not always the same people? That as two people come off long-term unemployment that one other person falls into that category?

    Who are these people? And if you are an employer are you offering them work?
    You do accept that a job only exists through offer and acceptance? Has it ever occurred to you that the reason some people are long-term unemployed is not because they 'choose' not to work but because they are not chosen for the job vacancy?

    Neither do I. When you find one of these people be sure to let us know who it is.

    If you spent anytime with community and volunteer groups you will quickly discover that alot of the people who do help out are people who are unemployed, or work part-time.

    Last edited: 23 Oct 2018
  5. gnf_ireland

    gnf_ireland Frequent Poster

    Let leave the travelling community out of this discussion for a few moments. I do accept that there needs to be special provisions put in place there, but I do not agree that handing out more and more welfare is the answer to that challenge either.
    So as a child I agree they do not make that decision - their parents and other community leaders do. However, as adults they choose (consciously or subconsciously) to maintain the status quo in the arrangement and put their own children in the same situations.

    However, there are are adults (not from the travelling community) who choose a welfare existence, for whatever reason. There are likely to be additional factors at play here also, but they should still be addressed.

    Ok I take your point here. However, there is a bridge scenario whereby someone who cannot get a 'commercial' job should not continue to get dole without contributing to wider society at some stages during this time. This is what I mean by the community jobs scheme.
    There should be a framework in place whereby someone who is on long term dole is either in a training programme to re-skill or on a community job programme. This assumes they are available for work. If they are not available for work, they should not be on the dole. I think we are somewhat agreed on this point, but you never know.

    These were very different times. My mother had to also give up her public sector job when she got married, but re-trained as a teacher and ended up back working over the years.
    The key with the statement above is she never received any welfare.
    I understand what you say by the statement she did contribute to society - and that was poor wording on my part. But I repeat I am not talking about people who are on other forms of welfare. Anyone minding children are not available for work, and therefore should not be in the dole.

    I am not talking about a particular person. I am doing my best to leave that individual out of it. I said in the line above that it is likely they would have all their children by the age of 30 and by 38 would have the children beyond first class. At the age of 38, they have 30 more years of welfare ahead of them (before their pension) and I think this is wrong. They are in a position to contribute beyond the family.
    *Note* since you have brought this person into the discussion (repeatedly), I assume you note the news from late last week where the person was found guilty of her 38th conviction. The current model is really working in this case !

    I accept I have no simple answers to this, other that the high level approach that the only way out of this cycle is through education. I firmly believe that child benefit should be cut (dramatically) and the funds reallocated to schools to ensure a proper free school approach.
    I believe that the technical schools should be returned, and work in conjunction with apprenticeship programmes to ensure all children leaving education have a skill capable of earning them a living. I firmly believe that university is not suitable for all, and the role of the apprenticeships appears to be diminishing within Ireland. I believe they play a fundamental part of our education system.
    Only through education and training will the children [of long term] unemployed break out of the poverty trap.

    2% is still 40,000 people odd.
    Yes, I have considered this option. Are there statistics available on those who are on dole for more than 5 years?

    I am originally from rural East Galway. I know of plenty of people who have spent the vast majority of their life on social welfare, and have no interest in working. Rightly or wrongly, the system supports this concept.
    If the person is retrained to a marketable skill, and there are adequate support in place for employers to take them on including '0% Employers PRSI' and ongoing training support, then I think a cohort would find work.
    The others, for whatever reason who cannot find work, should put those skills to use in the wider community, as part of a community job scheme.

    Clearly we differ on this. You appear to consider all long-term unemployed as victims of circumstance. I look at it as anyone who is more than 12 months on the dole (especially in periods of low unemployment) needs to be on a training programme or community job scheme. This clearly applies to those who are available for work only. I also believe there should be meaningful measures in place to incentivise employers to recruit those on the long term dole.
    My view, highly or wrongly, is unemployment benefit should be a security blanket for those who have lost a job and are activity looking to replace it. After an agreed period of time, the person should come off unemployment benefit and into a 'training allowance' whereby they are in a training/community programmes designed to provide skills to allow them return to the workplace.
    I also do not believe anyone under the age of 25 should go onto unemployment benefit, but straight into the 'training programme'
    No doubt we disagree on this, but such is life

    I will back out of the discussion on this at this point, we we clearly are going doing around in circles. I do have two children to get up and into school before I head into work myself for the day.
  6. TheBigShort

    TheBigShort Frequent Poster

    @gnf_ireland I appreciate that we have differing views on all of this. I also appreciate the sentiment that suggests there is a culture of welfare dependency, or there are life-time dolers.
    My point is that these people are extreme cases in the overall scheme of things. I also believe that there are primarily profound socio-economic disadvantages and psychological issues as to why anyone would live their lives this way.
    All of which feed into long-term unemployment, employers not taking people on etc (38 criminal convictions - I cant see too many employers lining to advertise for employees with such track record)

    There is also a plethora of social supports for people in these circumstances. Its these supports that also cost the welfare budget a not insignificant amount. In the main the appear to have some not so insignificant impact in alleviating long-term unemployment. As indicated, most poor people do spend a majority of their working lives in employment.

    Its my view that people over-egg the 'welfare dependency' tag. They witness extreme cases of poverty and homeless and sympathize. When the see they supports provided and the financial cost, all sympathy goes out the window.
    The reality is, most of us go to work to earn a living in order to avoid ending up in a lifestyle like that. If we can find work we like or are interested in, and it pays reasonably well all the better. We feel better that we contribute to society this way. But as mentioned, my mother and yours, as thousands others gave up work to rear children at home. Nobody for a nano-second could not reasonably consider that they weren't contributing something back to society for rearing children at home.
    Why a welfare payment to a woman trying to rear her children (in dire circumstances) should be considered any less a contribution I do not know.

    I appreciate that this topic could go round in circles, so I will leave it there too.
    Regards, TBS.