Government to Cut Rent Allowance but NAMA has 90,000 empty units


1 billion euro in welfare cuts are being hinted at by the government for Decembers budget. One of the areas identified for potential savings is rent allowance. Rent allowance payments total 500 million per year, they are subsidies to help pay the rent of people who qualify due to low incomes, mostly people on the dole or other welfare payments. There are 95,000 recipients.  The money goes to private landlords and is paid on half the housing rental property in the state.

Burton threatens unemployed


Labour minister Joan Burtons proposed dole are cuts designed to force people into low wage jobs.  Wages are under attack in the lowest paid sections of the economy with the active support of the government, as a result people are far less inclined to take up employment in these areas.  To resolve this the government wish to compel people to take up these jobs by threatening their social welfare payments.  This is the strategy that was developed and enforced by Maggie Thatchers rightwing government in Britain in the eighties.

Interview: Cork Social Welfare Defenders


Workers Solidarity spoke to Dave Higgins of the recently formed Cork Social Welfare Defenders.

WS Who’s in the group, what’s your reason for organising?

Unemployment & the War on Youth


On RTE news on 18/5/09, Mary Hanafin stated, in her usual Orwellian fashion, that the Department of Social and Family Affairs (DSFA) had now provided a financial incentive to encourage those under 20 to go into training or education. This ’financial incentive’ involved cutting the dole to €100 per week for new claimants under the age of 20.

A Quick Guide to Social Welfare for the Newly Jobless


Workers Solidarity’s Vincent O’Malley spoke to his local Citizens Information Centre about some of the obstacles facing people who have lost their jobs.

Dept of Social Welfare misleads regarding "welfare fraud" over payments


On 8/8/08, The Department of Social and Family Affairs (DSFA) issued a press release entitled “€238 million saved in first six months of this year through Welfare anti fraud crackdown.” A closer look at the operations of the DSFA reveals a slightly different story however. According to the 2007 Social Welfare Appeals Office (SWAO) Annual Report, 46% of appeals to the SWAO were successful. The chief appeals officer, Brian Flynn, is critical of social welfare deciding officers “applying the ‘fraud’ applications of the legislation in all cases involving overpayments”.

As we enter recession the system still works for the rich


Unemployment has risen by a third in the last year and everyone agrees that worse times are ahead. Worries about losing jobs and not being able to pay the mortgage are growing. Whose fault is it? Is it the politicians administering the economy, or is it the capitalist economy itself?

Personal reflection and glimpse of life on benefits in Belfast


When most people think of benefit fraud they usually think of the ‘solitary criminal figure’ that doesn’t want to work and who continually pockets more from the benefit system than they have been allocated. This vision is primarily the image conjured up by the mainstream media, politicians and the gutter press such as the Sun. It’s ok if your filthy rich and wealthy such as the Murdoch mafia who can afford to hire lawyers and keep their money in offshore accounts away from the public gaze.

Welfare cuts spell a war on women


Under the guise of fighting poverty, the Government is set to attack the welfare of lone parents.The Irish Government is planning to replace the ‘One Parent Family Allowance‘, a welfare payment for single parents of children under the age of eighteen with the ‘Parental Allowance‘. The primary difference between two is that while the OPFA ends when the parent's youngest child is eighteen, the PA ends when the youngest child turns eight. At this stage the parent will be transferred to an ordinary unemployment benefit, and will thus be forced into the job market. At present the policy is on trial in Kilkenny and Dublin, but the Government hopes to apply it throughout the state in the next Budget.

Fianna Fail to Perform Miracle of Full Employment


Seamus Brennan is a little man in many ways, but one thing he dislikes is not being in the limelight. So in this election year, the Social Affairs minister has decided to drive the last 150,000 people from the live register of the unemployed. Like some figure from the old testament Seamie will perform the miracle of full employment to prove his worth, He will drive the unemployed into the arms of the awaiting super exploitative bosses.

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