Tuesday 6 December 2016

Welfare system is unsustainable

Published 04/09/2011 | 05:00

The rates of welfare and the numbers who are receiving welfare payments from the State are no longer sustainable. This may appear to be a harsh statement, but if we really want to create a functional state out of the debacle FF and the PDs bequeathed to us, it is time we dealt with such issues truthfully.

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The chances of a rational discourse on the role of welfare are alas slim in a country that increasingly resembles one of those surreal polities Gulliver travelled to. Instead, those who even dare to raise the sustainability of our welfare rates will be targeted by the vast taxpayer-funded industry of poverty advocates and told we belong to the "no-such-thing-as-society" Thatcher wing of politics.

The problem, however, is that if Ireland does not resolve its escalating welfare crisis we may soon not have a functioning society at all. The most chilling of the many stark figures surrounding the current welfare bill is the revelation that over the last 15 years we have moved from spending 19 per cent and 22 per cent of the nation's gross expenditure on education and welfare respectively, to a new ratio of 16 per cent on education and 36 per cent on welfare.

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