Today’s report from the ESRI showing that 22% of the population are living in households where none of the residents have a job is more than sobering.
That more than one in five homes — almost one-in-four — do not have someone earning a wage is a stark and challenging definition of our difficulties. The report focused on the population who would, in more normal circumstances, be at work.
Some of the measures announced in the budget last week will have a regrettable impact in these homes. It is of little enough consolation but it does show how important it was to protect core welfare rates.
In the past we have suggested buying Irish to try to have some impact on this crisis, but that may not be enough anymore. Maybe the time has come not only to buy Irish but to defer expenditure if an Irish option is not available. This may not always be possible but the scale of the crisis is so great that we must do more.
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