Has anyone else been watching "Sue and Giles live the Good Life" on BBC2 on Monday evenings? It's really good. Funny and informative...in that order. The good life and self sufficiency are things that seem to be appealing to me more and more. I want an allotment, I want chickens, I want to make goats cheese with old tights and milk I squeezed from a goat udder myself! I'm sure I'm not the only one...am I? Please say I'm not!
Opting out appears to becoming more and more popular and who can blame people? The last time allotmenting and self sufficiency were so in vogue was during the 1970s in the UK when the three day week was introduced, "stagnation" was a word commonly used in economist circles and the nation was plagued by powercuts. (sounds familiar doesn't it)
The next budget day in Ireland is on the 7th of December. If, what we have been told is going to be announced is true then this household alone will be €354 worse off a year! I'm not going to tell you what that is a percentage of our income...but lets just say it's a lot, as it's no secret that I am STILL "on de dole". That, unfortunately, is probably only slightly higher than the average Irish household. That figure is based on proposed cuts to "me dole" and the proposed property tax and water rates.So how are households supposed to abosrb that? Call me stark raving mad if ya want but taking €350 out of the coffers of the average Irish family that is just scraping by would mean them falling behind on mortgage payments, or not being able to heat their homes, or provide a nutritous diet for themselves...so how is this going to help matters?
See, If people can't pay their mortgage then the banks aren't getting their money. In order to get their money they will have to employ a legal service to recover their money and put another family out of their home, which would then mean ANOTHER empty house on the market and another family needing social housing, driving the price of property even lower, which then reduces the amount of money a person pays in property tax so the government lose revenue...so they then up the percentage paid in property tax and more people can't pay....do ya see where I'm going with this?
The Poor Can't Pay Campaign have set out 10 reasons why Job Seekers Benefit should not be cut. The average person receiving this payment falls short by over €62. This figure was calculated before the last 4% cut. another 5% cut would see that figure more than double. So that would mean more people looking for social housing, needing emergency housing...and all of this would have to be funded by tax payers. In the Blanchardstown area alone there are over 5,400 people on the social housing register. This figure will only grow in the coming months and years if the proposed cuts are implemented. They have set out ten reasons to protect child benefit, which is also up for the chop and to protect the elderly and minimum wage. Every single point they make is completely valid.
Once again this government is targeting the poorest sections of society. St Vincent de Paul are really struggling with a rapidly increasing number of people relying on their services. how many more people are they going to put on the bread line (or below it at this stage)? Poverty is very real in our wealthy country. When the Celtic Tiger was at its peak in 2006 a study found that the level of wealth distribution in Ireland was among the lowest in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). They had ranked Ireland 27th out of its 30 member countries when it comes to so-called "social transfers".Social transfers are the redistributions of wealth to poorer sections of society through social welfare or pension payments.The percentage of transfers in Ireland is 15.8%, compared to 31.3% in Sweden, where the level of transfers is highest. This figure has actually decreased over the past three years meaning the gap between rich and poor is growing rapidly.
So the good life definitely sounds appealing. opting out and flipping those arseholes in goverment the bird. Someone get me a shovel and some horse shit. You'll find lots of it spouting from the mouths of our elected representatives.