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Readers' Panel: Unemployed

Glyn Carragher is relieved that unemployment benefit hasn’t been cut – but is worried that the Government has taken no action on job creation.

GLYN CARRAGHER lives in Galway and is unemployed. A father-of-two, he was primarily concerned about possible cuts to child benefit and social services ahead of the Budget. He believes the government is making a fatal mistake by focusing on cuts instead of on job creation.

“I’m glad that unemployment benefit hasn’t been cut, but I still don’t see the Government doing much in terms of creating employment. I saw nothing that was going to help people get back into work – and you have to spend money to get out of these things.

Besides, I don’t know what would happen if you actually cut welfare anymore – it’s taking with one hand and giving with the other.  To be honest, I think Fine Gael and Labour are doing a great job as a caretaker government for Fianna Fáil.

There’s nothing imaginative in this Budget. We need to have creative and courageous thinking from our political leaders and this just hasn’t been the case in the past couple of years.

I have two kids, so it’s a great relief that child benefit hasn’t been cut, but there are still 90,000 children living in constant poverty – constant poverty – in Ireland today. Fuel is also becoming more expensive. Where I live, we have access to turf and we share it out to about five or six different people… if that were to disappear tomorrow we couldn’t afford to heat our homes. It’s really bleak on that front.

And I still don’t see any cuts at the top – they’re not prepared to tax the wealthy. I mean, the very fact that our National Pensions Reserve Fund was used to prop up private investors is unbelievable. It would have been much better to put it into supporting Irish businesses.

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Any then you have the likes of Bertie Ahern saying that it’s not his problem – it’s ‘let them eat cake’ on a massive scale. Frankly, it’s obscene.”

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