Saturday 16 December 2017

Brendan Keenan: Troika asking hard questions on social protection payments

Efficacy of employment programmes and handouts is under the microscope in effort to make Ireland jobs-friendly

I HAD some familiarity, in the long ago, with the workings of social welfare -- or, as we called it in Belfast, the Bureau (pronounced Broo). The key thing was, that you had to be available for work.

It still is, and it always has been. Nothing could be simpler. Make oneself available, but find no work, and benefit is paid. Not be available, and it is cut, or even stopped.

For some reason -- indeed for many reasons -- it has not worked that way. Instead, the issue of welfare payments and availability has become a bone of contention between the Government and the lenders in the troika.

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