Trickle down travesty?

The Committee for the Administration of Justice report argues that the poorest of Northern Ireland society are worse off today than when the peace process began.

  • Professor Maynard

    Whinging rubbish from a bunch of self-righteous, self-appointed tossers.
    You can almost smell the fear from these people as the fashionable excuses for their charmed existence fall away.
    There is no religious discrimination in the labour market here at all. Hasn’t been for years. But let’s not talk about that, because it might put all the people who make a living complaining about it out of work.
    The reason we have so much ‘hidden’ unemployment is because of the uptake of non-employment related benefits by people who won’t work, re-train or lift their own families out of dependency. Solution: time-limit the benefits. It’s delivered phenomenal results over the past decade since Clinton introduced it in America, why is not even on the political radar here?
    Could it be because it doesn’t suit the political agenda of certain independent, impartial and totally professional lobbying organisations? Errr… yes.

    Get a job guys. There are so many of them we’re having to import half of Poland, in case you hadn’t notice.

  • John East Belfast

    There was an interesting report out a week or two ago which I was surprised wasnt posted on Slugger (I am not critcising by the way – you all do a great job!)

    It highlighted the geographical spread of the approx. 120k people in this country who appear to be too sick to work – there were a further 100k inactive – some unemployed but others mothers etc who werent looking for work.

    My heart goes out to those who are genuinely too ill to work and in many ways how a society deals with such people is an indication of its civilisation.

    However there must be an awful lot of shirkers out there.

    Also why did it appear that West of The Bann people appear to be more unhealthy ?

    Why is places like Strabane and Derry got 15% + of their working population too sick to work compared to somewhere like Bangor at less than 5%?

  • apples and oranges

    Dermot O’Reilly and Mike Stevenson at QUB did some research on DLA uptake, published in 2004 and found that 77.2% of regional variation was explained by health factors alone. Bear in mind west of the bann is considerably worse off on a number of poverty and social exclusion indicators therefore its hardly surprising that benefit uptake is higher. O’Reilly and Stevenson’s research also suggested that there was still a large reserve of people eligible for DLA but NOT yet claiming it.

  • apples and oranges

    i think you might be missing the point professor maynard. nowhere in that examiner article is discrimination identified as a cause of the inequalities. Rather, CAJ’s equality officer notes that “Rather than genuinely tackling poverty in both Catholic and Protestant working-class communities, government appears to be sectarianising the debate.”

    there is a wealth of evidence to suggest that poverty & unemployment are more prevalent in the Catholic community.
    The causes of this are pretty complex, however, there is not much evidence to suggest that it is a consequence of present discrimination.

    I may be misreading this but i thought CAJ’s focus was on vertical inequalities, i.e. the differences between the most deprived and least deprived (whether they be protestant or catholic) and that they were being critical of the current govt policies which have had the effect of exacerbating community tensions while at the same time being pretty ineffective in terms of tackling vertical inequalities.

    surely it is possible to tackle these vertical inequalities in a religion-blind way? if the govt could find a way of doing so successfully, horizontal community differences would inevitably be reduced because of the fact that the problems are more prevalent in the catholic community. thats not the same as saying catholics would benefit more.

  • Frustrated Democrat

    It is obvious that people who do not work will suffer from more poverty and social exclusion, so this is a complete tautology.

    The question is whether there is work available or not for those on disablity or other benefits? I suspect with the number of working immigrants which is probably at least 20,000 in NI and maybe higher proves that there has been work available in the past.

    The government used long term diability as a means of reducing unemployment and it has now got completely out of control.

    Everyone on any type of benefit should be made to reapply every 6 months and attend an independent medical unless it is clear beyond any doubt that the person will never be able to work again. In this way the scroungers will be weeded out and those in real need will be protected and I suspect the total will fall to under 5% everywhere.

  • Lorenzo

    “[..] the poorest members of our society, both Catholic and Protestant, are relatively worse off than they were 10 years ago.”

    The key word here is ‘relatively’. They are not worse off than they were before, they have just not improved as much as the rest of society. I would guess that this is because welfare increases have not kept up with general income increases. If welfare increases did not keep up with general inflation, they would be worse off in absolute terms.

    They confuse inequality with poverty.

  • apples and oranges

    who confuses inequality with poverty? arguably increasing inequality between the most deprived and least deprived is in itself an undesirable thing.

    what if the immigrants arriving in northern ireland are better qualified and hence more employable than the unemployed people who are already here? bearing in mind that the proportion of people who leave school in NI without any qualifications is higher than anywhere else in the uk. how does restricting availability of benefits tackle a problem like that?

    all over britain at present there are initiatives to encourage benefit uptake because all the evidence suggests that the people most in need aren’t claiming. the more hurdles are put up, the less likely it is those who are entitled and in need will claim.