Monday 20 February 2017

Our welfare system is unfair to recipients and taxpayers, it's time for radical change

Willie O'Dea

Published 10/03/2016 | 02:30

'A harsh welfare system does not create jobs. What it does is force people to accept low-paying jobs at worse conditions' Photo: Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision
'A harsh welfare system does not create jobs. What it does is force people to accept low-paying jobs at worse conditions' Photo: Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision

Hopefully, after weeks of endless speculating we have now reached a point when we stop talking about process, personalities and political permutations and get to focus on the most import P word of all: policy.

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One thing that has become very clear to me after years as a public representative and after meeting tens of thousands of distressed constituents is that the Irish social welfare system is unfair and needs to be completely overhauled.

It is not only unfair to those whose needs it supposedly serves, it is also unfair to those who pick up the tab and indeed to the many hundreds of public officials who try to make it work.

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