There was a 2 page article in yesterday's Irish Daily Mail, about a family of eight (dad, mum, 6 kids) living down in Limerick who are getting €3800 a month in state benefits and say that it's not enough for them to live on. (For those of you in the UK, that's £3,221.81 per month, and for those in the US it's $5,473.88 at today's exchange rates).
Highlights from the article:
The tears fall down Danielle Harte's face as she sits opposite her 50in Plasma TV screen. 'Sometimes I think I was put on this earth to suffer,' she says, her husband Ger nodding quietly in agreement.
To most it might seem as if Ger, 33, and Danielle, 31, have done a pretty good job. After all, they and their six children live in an eight-bedroom, €440,000 detached house in picturesque Ardnacrusha, Co. Clare. Not bad for a couple living entirely on welfare.
Danielle has never worked outside the home. Ger gave up his €420-a-week job in a cash and carry more than four years ago, because he figured he'd get more money in welfare benefits. He was right. Every month they take home approximately €3,800, courtesy of the taxpayer.
'We get €480 a week in dole for the eight of us; about €800 a month in rent allowance, and then child benefit of €1,144. That's what we have to live on,' Danielle complains.
Ger adds: 'I was offered a job but if I took it we wouldn't get the rent allowance, so it's not worth my while.
Even in the boom times, Danielle and Ger didn't work and they admit there is no incentive to get a job.
Bolded bits are obviously mine; the article also states that they have 4 large plasma tv's in the house, plus two laptops and two cars. In addition, they were housed in a suite in Jury's Hotel in Limerick for 3 months at one point because no suitable accomadation was available.
I think it's sickening that someone can basically give up a job to live off the state and take home more in a month than people (ie me and most of my friends) who are putting in 39 hour weeks and counting ourselves lucky to actually still have a job. This guy even says that he's been offered work, but it's not worth his while taking in as he and his family are better off claiming benefits.
What kind of example does this set to his kids???
And what kind of government sets up a system where this can happen??
Completely, utterly batshit insane.