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Three-day week and €16 minimum wage would build a better world after Covid-19

Tom Boland


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Shut down: Empty stalls on Dublin’s Moore Street reflect how the economy has come to a screeching halt. Photo: Gerry Mooney

Shut down: Empty stalls on Dublin’s Moore Street reflect how the economy has come to a screeching halt. Photo: Gerry Mooney

Shut down: Empty stalls on Dublin’s Moore Street reflect how the economy has come to a screeching halt. Photo: Gerry Mooney

Imagine an economy with more than two million people at work, hit by a recession where more than 500,000 suddenly lose their jobs. What's the quickest way to get these people back to work?

After 2008, Ireland endured years of austerity - new taxes and higher taxes while public services were hollowed out. Not enough teachers, gardaí, nurses or doctors were hired.

Thousands emigrated. Others facing unemployment took whatever work was available - many were pushed into precarious work. The State borrowed harsh welfare policies from the UK, holding the threat of a cut to benefits over all claimants - and discriminating against the under-25s by reducing their welfare to €100.