Welfare cuts seem unlikely to start youth flight

The Sunday Business Post claims that 4.1% cut in Welfare will “push Irish youth abroad.” Where to? Unless it’s to look for scarce work. On welfare they’re still a lot better off than in UK including NI. Take two rough comparisons. They’re crude, they may not compare like with like and I offer them only in the hope that others will pitch in with valid and comprehensive comparisons and what the respective financial measures may mean for the whole island

From the Irish Times report
For new social welfare applicants, the rate of jobseekers benefit and supplementary welfare allowance for those aged 20 and 21 years of age who have no dependent children is being reduced to €100 per week. For those aged between 22 and 24 years, allowances will fall to €150 per week.

In addition, child benefits rates are to revert to 2006 levels with a cut of €16 in monthly payments. This brings rates to between €150 and €187 per month.I make it basic job seeker’s allowance in NI for age 24 is £50.95 ( 56.61 euros). ROI 150 euros ( £134)
Basic child benefit in NI for a first child is £80 per average month (88.90 euros). ROI 150 euros (£134)

Former BBC journalist and manager in Belfast, Manchester and London, Editor Spolight; Political Editor BBC NI; Current Affairs Commissioning editor BBC Radio 4; Editor Political and Parliamentary Programmes, BBC Westminster; former London Editor Belfast Telegraph. Hon Senior Research Fellow, The Constitution Unit, Univ Coll. London

  • OC

    Just where will the unemployed go to get work – indeed!

    The whole labour paradigm has shifted for the entire Western world it seems.

    Manufacturing? Gone.

    High tech? Gone, or handed over to foreigners.

    Construction? Gone, or handed over to illegal aliens.

    The USA has 10+% unemployment.

    Perhaps the sex industry is the answer? I mean, it apparently does put women through college.

    And look at gangsters – no shortage of work there!

  • Dave

    The EU’s single market adds 160 billion euros to its member states combined GDP but it regulation also adds 600 billion euros in extra costs to its member states businesses, meaning that its disadvantages outweigh its advantages by a factor or 4 to 1.

    The result of this backwardness is that the EU’s share of global GDP continues its decline, and the EU likewise continues its decline into global irrelevance.

    Gordon Brown’s own figures (Gordon Brown, Global Europe: full-employment Europe, HM Treasury, October 2005) in 2005 as Chancellor of the Exchequer show that the EU’s share of global GDP will have declined to 17% by 2015. That’s optimistic. More credible sources from the IMF show a collapse of 60% over the 20 year period from 2000 to 2020.

    States that are not restricted by the EU’s backwardness such as the USA and Canada will hold their own while the Pacific Rim countries increase their share of global GDP dramatically.

  • what the?


    aren’t you assuming that if these were individual states that there would be zero regulation? aren’t you including costs of social welfare as ‘regulation’? aren’t you fixing the numbers here. fairly transparently? aren’t you?

  • Dave

    I’m assuming nothing. The cost of regulating the Single Market is 600 billion euros a year [b]on business[/b] while the benefits of it [b]to business[/b] is 160 billion euros. That means that business loses 440 million euros more than it gains. That cost burden is why the EU’s share of global GDP is in freefall, collapsing from 27% in 2000 to 15% in 2018. According to the European Commission itself, it will have declined to only 10% by 2050. They’re telling porkies when they claim that it will only decline by only 5% from 2018 to 2050.

    Ireland, having locked itself into a political and economic union that is in fatal decline, will pay the price for that idiocy by per capita decline in its own GDP, forcing its population to emigrate to non-EU states in search of employment. Those young people – who are smart enough to read the writing on the wall – should go now and not look back.

  • Dave

    It is not just the cost of the regulation that is making industry uncompetitive and backward of course but the regulation itself.

  • The CSO stats for the year up to April 2009 said that 18,400 Irish nationals emigrated and 18,400 Irish nationals returned to Ireland. There may be an increase after this but not a massive one. We continue to have one of the most generous social-welfare systems in Europe. The 21/2 year olds affected by this change specifically exclude parents, remember. The aforemention stats reflect what the opening poster has said: where are they jobs (other than Australia maybe and restrictions have come in there recently).

  • Dave

    “We continue to have one of the most generous social-welfare systems in Europe.” – Brian Boru

    Indeed, and that’s why, as Alan Barrett of the ESRI pointed out, more than half the immigrants who lost their jobs have stayed in Ireland and signed on for welfare. A polish worker, for example, gets 175 euros a month unemployment benefit in his native Poland compared to 890 euros a month in Ireland plus other benefits such as child benefit, free education, and rent allowance, etc. Immigrants are an estimated 12pc of the population but an estimated 26% of dole claimants. A year ago when there were 221,000 people on the live register, The Sunday Times estimated the percentage at 17.4%. The other downside of being in the EU is that we may yet experience the same problems as the UK with immigrants taking 81% of all new jobs created over there. As our live register sails over the 500,000 mark, that means that we’d have to create 2.5 million new jobs just to get that 500,000 off the dole (with immigrants taking the other 2 million new jobs). That’s a hopeless situation for our young people to be in. That’s why the government is spending 71 million to try to get 48,000 young Irish people under the age of 25 off the dole and back to school (i.e. gerrymandering the figures to make it look like the young are victims of unemployment).

  • Dave

    Typo: “…make it look like the young are[b]n’t[/b] victims of unemployment…”

  • Mack

    “We continue to have one of the most generous social-welfare systems in Europe.”

    That depends, for recently unemployed there are many countries that pay more (e.g. 70 or 80% of salary in France) – for long term unemployed the replacement rates (what you’d need to earn to fund the same standard of living) are very high (esp. given childcare & property costs in Ireland)