Wednesday 17 January 2018

Dole looks a better bet

Madam – On a recent trip to the dentist in a seaside town, I parked beside the local labour exchange and was stunned to see a huge percentage of the men coming out and heading alongside me straight up to the pub in the main street for Cheltenham. There was a large sign advertising free cocktail sausages and snacks. On leaving the dentist one hour later and €200 worse off, the same pub and others on the main street, were positively rocking at 4pm on a Tuesday afternoon.

Maybe it's bitterness but I really felt angry that people on social welfare can afford to spend the day betting in a pub and myself and my husband and so many others like us are genuinely struggling to get out for two drinks once a week. We are being hit on all sides – lower tax relief for inhaler medicine, lower tax relief for dental procedures, wage cuts, daily begging letters from our children's unfortunate schools to try and raise money to keep going.

Later in the day I heard a radio station ask one of the punters how he was going to pay the ESB and phone bill if the bets didn't prove profitable. He laughed while replying he would have to get help.

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