The OECD's suggestion of penalising unemployed people who fail to find work is an insult. Only a couple of years ago, we had almost full employment in this country. The number of unemployed who did not find work was very small and many of those were carers and invalids who simply could not take any jobs on offer.
So the actual number of undeserving "idlers" or "scroungers" was only a tiny percentage -- doing almost negligible damage to the economy.
Today, jobs are not so readily available and about a quarter of all households are living in some degree of poverty. The people who have caused this situation are the ones who ought to be penalised.
Burn the bondholders (they are gamblers who can expect to lose heavily once in a while), shake up NAMA and get the banks back in working order to allow lending to small and medium enterprises.
Tax the very wealthy and invest the proceeds in community projects -- especially those involved in such things as local food initiatives, biomass and traditional skills -- and invest in improved education and health services.
This will create many thousands of jobs and worthwhile training opportunities that the vast majority of unemployed people will gladly take up.
Flagmount, Co Clare