More hardship for those least able to carry the burden

The Department of Social Protection has alerted me to imminent changes to the Jobseeker’s Benefit Scheme that will impact on the pockets of casual and part time workers. Announced in Budget 2012, payment amounts for part time or casual workers will now be based on a five-day week rather than a six day week. These changes come into effect in August and mean that these workers are losing a day’s social welfare payment.

This is another example of government departments picking on the poorest in society. There is a ever-widening gap between Ireland’s richest and poorest citizens. And with policies like this, the government is only increasing the disparity.

And there’s plenty of proof for this. Here are just two recent reports that outline how things are getting worse for the most vulnerable in society:

  • Budget 2012 involved greater proportionate losses for those on low incomes: reductions of up to 2.5% for those with the lowest incomes, as against losses of about 0.75% for those with the highest incomes. (Source: ESRI, Distributional Impact of Tax, Welfare and Public Sector Pay Policies: 2009-2012) Click here to download this report.
  • The income of poorest households fell by more than 18% in one year, while the income of richest households rose by 4%. (Source: Social Justice Ireland Poverty and Income distribution report.) Click here for more details.

Anyone who wants to find out more about how these changes will effect them should contact the constituency office. We’d be delighted to help you out.