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People have no incentive to get off the dole says OECD

NewsBy Morgan Flanagan Creagh
People have no incentive to get off the dole says OECD

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development has said that for 40,000 families the dole is too generous and is giving them no incentive to get a job.

OECD expert David Haugh, who wrote the report, said that unemployed couples who have children do the best out of Ireland’s ‘generous’ benefit system.

The reports states that of the country’s 211,200 unemployed, 38,000 people get nearly as much income on benefits as they would working and there is little incentive for them to stop claiming.

This has raised concerns that children of the long term unemployed will mimic their parents and end up dependent on welfare.

The OECD suggests that a solution to the lack of incentives is a more gradually phased loss of benefits like the Family Income Support for those entering the labour market to do low income work.

Business group IBEC noted that in most other jurisdictions the longer you remain unemployed the less money you get.

The OECD report claims that Ireland’s top priority should be further reducing the still-high levels of post-crisis unemployment, particularly for youth and the long-term unemployed.

They recommend, in order to boost skills, the government should continue with plans to improve the apprenticeship system and other forms of training, while unemployment traps should be eased, for instance by slowing the withdrawal of housing and family income supplements as income increases.

Relative to the average wage, Ireland has the highest child care costs in the OECD, so improving affordability is essential, says the OECD, particularly for low-income families.

The Irish Daily Mail reports that almost 60,000 job seekers have been in receipt of welfare payments for more than five years with only 14,000 penalised in that time for failing to comply with ‘activation measures’ to get back to work.