Saturday 24 March 2018

We're all in 'the Middle' now

Sir -- In his Trojan efforts to represent 'Middle Ireland', to the exclusion of social welfare recipients, deputy Michael Ring conveniently ignores some basic facts. Firstly, most social welfare recipients are receiving social welfare because they lost their jobs and there are no other paying jobs available for them to go to. Secondly, a large percentage of current social welfare recipients were until recently, fully paid-up members of the 'Middle Ireland' class that Deputy Ring claims to represent.

If social welfare is cut any further, as some Fine Gael TDs want, then surely that in itself will be an attack on 'Middle Ireland'? After all, these unemployed members of the 'Middle Ireland' class (and other social welfare recipients) have to continue to live, to try to pay their mortgage/rent and send their children to school/college etc. Surely this is a case for extending social welfare entitlements (eg, to the self-employed) and not a case for cutting them?

Deputy Ring states that "the burden has to be spread out across the board, top, middle and bottom". Here, again, he conveniently ignores the basic facts: the people at the "bottom" are already suffering, because they've lost their jobs -- and the people in the middle are suffering in the manner described, correctly, by Deputy Ring. Yet nowhere in the article does Mr Ring make any suggestion as to how those at the "top" might "share the burden".

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