I note that the Irish Government has been told that it should cut the dole for the long-term unemployed to encourage them to go back to work.
Ireland is one of the few countries not to reduce unemployment benefits when people fail to find employment, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development said. In a wide-ranging attack on the Government’s employment schemes, it warned that unemployment benefit and jobseekers’ allowances here — as well as the likes of rent relief — were disincentives to finding work.
Ireland has the third highest unemployment rate among the OECD countries. And half of the 440,000 getting employment benefits here are classified as long-term jobless. Those who have not worked for a year are paid jobseeker’s allowance of €188 a week which is means tested. But they do not have their payments reduced as time goes on.
Yet the Irish Government INSISTS it will not cut the monies paid to those who are long term unemployed. I suspect this is political calculation rather than for economic reasons.
So, is it not fair to say that just for once the OECD has a point and that the policy of the Irish Government encourages unemployment state of mind? There is also the small detail that the Irish Government is mired in BILLIONS of debt and cannot afford the largesse it insists it must extend to those without a job for a year or more. Being kind with other people’s money is a luxury some would say that Joan Burton cannot afford.