The UK government is planning to reform the welfare system to provide better incentives for people to work.
Measures will include a £26,000 cap on the total benefits any household can receive and the introduction of a single “universal credit” that will replace six existing benefits, including jobseekers’ allowance and income support.
Chancellor George Osborne put it most eloquently at Tory party conference last October: “Where is the fairness, we ask, for the shift-worker, leaving home in the dark hours of the early morning, who looks up at the closed blinds of their next door neighbour sleeping off a life on benefits?”
Last month I tried to recruit a team assistant at a salary of €25,000 per annum. Not to be sneezed at for a recent graduate I thought. This was not the case. The recruitment consultant told me he was struggling to get anyone to express an interest in even attending an interview as it wasn’t worth their while to come off the dole.
For every grafter who works for a sense of pride and purpose, there are welfare cheats and fraudsters outsmarting the system because they can. And there’s the rub. The blame should be shared equally with our archaic, bureaucratic, ineffectual Department of Social Protection.
Recent reports show that 1 in every 5 jobless households in Ireland are claiming some form of disability allowance. So either we’re a nation of invalids or of chancers.
Our esteemed leaders have to tackle this issue, despite the left’s endless platitudes about protecting the most vulnerable in our society.
Of course we should look after those with genuine disabilities, those who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own, the elderly and a host of other deserving citizens, but we have to give people a financial incentive to work. It simply has to pay to take a job at or above the minimum wage.
Who in their right mind would choose the uncertainty of a low paying job in the private sector over the security of a guaranteed (and higher) income on welfare?
The ESRI published and then promptly retracted a report whose findings proved that 44% of unemployed families were better off on the dole and if you’re interested in finding out whether you’re one of them, Karl Monaghan has useful Job or Dole application that does the calculations automatically. At lower income levels, most scenarios recommend the dole.