Opinion Brendan Keenan

Wednesday 22 November 2017

Brendan Keenan: Bizarre social welfare system requires a dramatic rethink

Brendan Keenan

Brendan Keenan

I like to think I am not easily startled. Yet startled is the only word to describe the feeling when reading the analysis of the development of the social welfare system contained in the recent report from NESC (National Economic and Social Council).

It is a truth universally acknowledged, as Jane Austen might have put it, that the boom and bubble years saw the poorest left behind and a widening of the gaps between those getting their hands on all that lovely foreign credit and those who did not.

That, after all, is what almost everyone said -- and mostly still do. The claims were accompanied by demands that more be spent to make Ireland more like the civilised countries of the richer part of the EU and OECD.

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