How’s this new Dole deadline system going to affect people?


Dumb it down

How’s this new Dole deadline system going to affect me?

News has been leaking today that the Government are planning on putting a time limit on drawing the dole. But, what does this mean for the average man on benefits?

Are you telling me that shower in the Dáil have managed to run the country into the ground and now they want to cut my dole?

Pretty much, yeah.  Joan Burton, the Minister for Social Protection, a misnomer if there ever was one, is toying with the idea of giving people a limited time to find a job. The ‘Prediction of Exit’ type scheme would see unemployed people agreeing a date to aim to get off the Live Register.

What’s a ‘Prediction of Exit’ type scheme when it’s at home?

Well, it would be a system where every person who applies foremployment benefit has a meeting with their case worker. A delightful proposition by itself. At that meeting a date will be set depending on the person’s experience.

Will it matter what qualifications I have?

Here’s the bad news for the recently graduated unemployed. The higher qualifications and experience someone has, the less time they’ll have before their benefit is cut – apparently in what’s being called a ‘motivational’ move. Social Protection seems to be playing pretty fast and loose with the word motivational.

Those with the universally cherished Arts degrees should be safe for at least half a year. But, if you have a degree that’s actually in some way useful then you may only have three months.

How strict is it gonna be?

The rumours from the Minister’s department – which obviously leaks like a sieve – say that it’s going to be enforced STRICTLY! We’re not sure how that balances with the peppy ‘pep talk’ that people who fail to meet the deadline will be given by their case worker.

This type of thing isn’t used anywhere else, surely?

Actually it is, but they don’t seem half as strict. Switzerland cuts social welfare benefits after two years. Other countries have similar systems, but their benefits are reduced gradually over time. These systems frontload the money to counterbalance the negative effects of losing a job.

Is this new system even practical?

With approximately 450,000 people now on unemployment benefit, it seems unlikely that the Department of Social Protection would have the manpower to supply the case workers needed for it to be successful.

Joan Burton is due to reveal how the system will work next week. We’ll be on the edge of our seats until then.


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