If you pay-as-you-go for fuel, chances are you might have availed of the €100 fuel subsidy allowance at the start of Covid. The gas and electricity companies that awarded this subsidy are now looking for it back, and are reclaiming it at 60%. So that if you put in a tenner’s worth for fuel, you actually only get €4 worth. This was the big favour they did for poor people!

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.


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.

Jobpath is about humiliating and punishing the unemployed, not helping. We are paying private companies millions a year to hound the unemployed into now paying precarious jobs with litle security. The scandal should end now.

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

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