I've just been reading an Irish Independent debate about whether or not a €10 increase in social welfare is generous.
That's debateable. I think the money is very high when you consider that the jobs that many ex welfare recipients are most likely to get are paid about double that, but they will not get the percentage increases in a low paid job. Also you must consider that even a single person in rented accomodation can get up to 70 a week outside Dublin and up to 110 a week in Dublin - and then they still moan about that.
In fairness 134 a week is a very small amount but a person earning 1283 a month paying 400 rent and 40 on medical expenses is only 41 euro a week better off, and the likelihood of them getting a 10 euro a week increase would require a pay rise that they have no guarantee of getting. So the nearer that social welfare gets to this figure, the less incentive there is to work. I notice that social welfare payments have nearly reached a point where they have overtaken a median wage. For all the well-meant intentions of the do gooders, the real loser here are the people earning modest wages (>1400) who are eventually likely to be overtaken if social welfare rates continue to spiral. This is a huge percentage of working people, so this will hugely discourage welfare recipients from working.
I was horrified to read a headline in the Guardian on Saturday a couple of weeks of the Tories complaining about the high rates of taxation that low income workers have to pay, only then to go to the state for a handout (i.e. work persons tax credit - an excellent idea, but very wrong when you consider that this effectively rewards low paying employers by subsidising their employees to get a near living wage). This is the very party who created this problem in the first place by lowing taxes for the rich and spreading the tax burden downwards so that the losses from cutting taxes were paid for basically by poorer workers. An incredible level of arrogance I think, also considering that the "privatise everything" mentality of the Tories created low wages in the first place.