Carol Nolan - The Difficulties Facing Working Families
The economic recession has impacted negatively upon the lives of people in our country. However, its effects have been compounded by the incorrect, unjust and regressive measures that have been taken by the Fine Gael/Labour government to reduce the budget deficit. The harsh and short sighted policies imposed have reduced the salaries of tens of thousands of workers. According to research carried out by the CSO 1 in 7 people at risk of poverty has a job.
The mortgage crisis is greatly impacting on working families, 180,000 people are in mortgage distress. The failure of our government to address this issue in a fair manner through the implementation of an independent process instead of the personal insolvency Act which gives banks a veto has done little to lessen the impact of this crisis.
It is very evident from the actions of the Fine Gael /labour government over the last few years that the hardships of working families are secondary to those of bank bailouts, paying the bond holders and appeasing the troika up to the time of their departure. Our government still refuses to listen to a cohort of the people it serves-The working families of Ireland who are being subjected to unfair cuts e.g. the cut to maternity benefit entails a cut of €128 per month& affects 90% of new mothers and will force mothers of newborn babies back to work earlier. This measure is anti-woman and anti-family.
The costs of child minding is putting great financial strain on families and one quarter of parents have been forced to leave the workforce due to the high costs e.g. the cost for a family with 2 children is €16,500 per annum.
There are alternatives that could be taken by the government instead of enforcing harsh cuts upon working families e.g. 1% wealth tax could be implemented or an introduction of a 3rd rate of tax of 48% on incomes in excess of €100,000. Those who earn the most should pay the most!. Ba chóir don rialtas cothrom na féinne a thabhairt do gach clann ar fud na tíre in ionad na polasaithe atá curtha i bhfeidhm mar tá sé sóiléir go bhfuil na polasaithe seo ag cur iallachaí agus brú láidir ar beagnach gach clann in Éirinn.Tá bealach níos fearr ann.