I spoke with Lillian McCarthy, founder member of Pensioners for Equality. They scored a great victory by militant action, campaigning and protesting. Minister Doherty was forced to acknowledge the justice of their cause. True, back-money is being paid from last March only,but they won their main demand – that years spent as carers would be included in their penion calculation – and they’re not done yet !! Well done to Lillian and her fellow campaigners.

 

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MORE PUBLIC MONEY WASTED. That’s Minister Doherty’s plan for JOBPATH and the unemployed. She intends renewing the multi million Euro contracts with dodgy companies who got the ‘gig’ last time – private businesses contracted for ‘job activation’ schemes that “patronised..manipulated and bullied” the people they were meant to help – the unemployed. And they call this ‘Social Protection’! I spoke about this in the Dáil earlier today.

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JOBPATH IS AN ABUSIVE RIP-OFF. As a private company it’s given public money for thwarting the lives of people looking for work. I had the opportunity to question witnesses at a Dáil committee reviewing an investigation of Jobpath and it was infuriating. The video here is brief – just my own comments and questions to the witnesses, but you can check the Oireachtas website for more testimony. Try committee room 4 on 17.1.19 at around 11am

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Before Xmas I queried the Minister about the numbers of people refused carers’ allowance initially, who are then forced to appeal (which takes months) before being accepted. I also asked about the dramatic rise in the numbers of people penalised under the Jobpath scheme from 63 in 2015 to 5,681 in 2018. She responded defensively (a lot of waffle is cut from this video clip) but bottom line is FG could care less about the vulnerable in society

 

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An ERSI report shows that this govt looks after the top earners – not the ‘early risers’ nor the ‘squeezed middle’! Figures show that the last budget left average households WORSE off than before. Lower income housholds lost most. And according to economist Michael Taft, the real winners over the last 8 years are the very high earners. Average housholds are paying more tax, and are poorer than before the budget. Some recovery!

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