They won’t admit it but again Fine Gael has screwed up, all be it unintentionally. When the political party finally got into action long after CV19 hit Ireland, they rightly introduced the CV19 €350 payment to citizens. However, by doing something actually right for a change, they exposed a possible long existing wrong. This has been their screw-up, to their own quiet dislike.
The introduction of this payment was carried out as to save people from their rent or mortgage not being able to be paid. The payment was introduced so that now CV19 workers forced out of work, could still feed themselves and see that bills such as power and heating could be maintained. The payment was made so that new unemployed could continue still having an ability to spend money locally, all be it smaller amounts, to local businesses and even larger ones such as nationwide chain supermarkets so they too may survive.
The introduction of the €350 payment was in fact, a state government acknowledgement that this was considered the minimum that was weekly needed in order for an average person to be able get through a standard week without dropping into official poverty.
To be fair, at the time, Fine Gael felt they were doing the right thing – even if it was to help save businesses (too often their primary concern) or an newly CV19 struggling individual. Whatever their ultimate motivation for the introduction of this payment – and remember, the government is not in the business in giving away money as much as it can but as little as it is thought necessary – a FG caretaking government made if it was also aware of it or not, an admission that €350 was the minimum needed for a person to survive week to week. It is important to acknowledge this point.
Fine Gael now indicates it wishes to drop people off this €350 payment now (although some of them say different now too, see here) . They wish to shove many people back to rates of pay that leaves them worse off, below what is though to be minimum required. Think about that!
Again to be fair, there are some that are actually better off getting the €350 payment than actually going out and doing part-time work. Fine Gael however, are attempting to use this reason as a blanket excuse to wide scale cut more people down or off. They are by effect, if they carry this through, invoking more poverty. This poverty in turn, certainly will not help our overall economy and thus state stability.
A Further Fine Gael Acknowledgement.
To their credit, Fine Gael has raised the minimum rate (€10.10 an hour) of pay for workers in Ireland. The average worker doing an average 39 hour week therefore comes out with just over €390 a week. Just above the minimum €350 number considered to be the very basic needed by a person, per week, in order to get by.
The set rate of pay therefore, is also a further (previous) FG government acknowledgement that there is a minimum per week – or even per hour – that a person needs to get in order to survive through gaining basics, as they continue try living within Ireland borders.
The Standard Social Welfare Rate.
Jobseekers standard rate for an individual is a maximum €203 a week (LINK). Fine Gael now yanking the €350 rate, is them shoving people further back into greater poverty.
Now, again to be fair, others could claim “Well, if they were out working, they would gain more” – and they would be right. Not much more but yes, definite more in financial number.
Where Am I Going?
Where am I going with all this?
- Is it financially right for individuals and the economy that people are more forced in number, to accept being shoved into further poverty again by any government? (I say “No“)
- Do we need to look at places of employment and better assist SME’s in creating scenarios where they can then employ people for longer hours, if only so that they (the business owners) can hire people so workers gain a weekly wage above the now €350 rate? (I say “Yes“)
- Is it morally fair to give some a brief glimpse of a more survivable life – then have it taken from them and shoved by state sanction, back into lower poverty – still facing the same amount of bills? (I say “No“)
For the sake of creating a better stable Ireland and better individual poverty being tackled (it’s real, it’s growing. Just ask Ken Smollen – here too), we need to ask the above question and more – and then not only decide to do better but actually do it. The answers won’t be easy to seek but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t seek them or ask questions. So far, Fine Gael has previously taken minimum steps forward – now they wish to go further backwards even on those. I’m open to be wrong but to me, this does not make good long term sense, for individual or for the country. We must do better for both.
20 year barman. Re-educated as an I.T. professional, website creator, I.T teacher, digital media management & marketing professional. Studied accountancy, taxation, business management & law. Founder of UnitedPeople political party – click here. Previously the first National Chairman of Direct Democracy Ireland (DDI) & founder of the Louth branch of DDI. Author. Regular contributor to social media. TV & radio guest experiences. Appeared in the Oireachtas & Dublin Highcourts to defend the rights of citizens along with exposing many wrongs. Consistently seeks greater democracy & accountability from all elected levels of Ireland. Currently writing two books, non-fiction “Life Behind Bars” & “Better Tomorrows“.