On the RTE Drivetime radio programme on November 8th, (mp3 download enclosed), Philip Boucher-Hayes went into detail on the think-tank TASC’s report on how up to 20 PERCENT (!!) of Ireland’s employed workforce are in “precarious work”. (Click the link above! WELL worth a listen).
“Look at our falling unemployment! It’s great!”, we are told.
But wonder why Ireland’s government don’t tackle zero hour contracts?
Question why they push for multiple Seetec schemes? Jobbridge?
TASC’s report has ripped open and confirmed a long unquestioned underbelly of fraud, manipulation and deception at the heart of our state, our government, and how our people are treated.
“Precarious Work” is a term to describe work that could shift from one week to another. It may be there next week, it may be not. You may get 30 hours of work next week, you may get 1.
Your work may be a scheme, that pays little….or nothing. Or MULTIPLE of these schemes at a time, giving no scope to learn. Keeping a work on the floor.
It may be a low paying job. TOO low, that requires government subsidy. Creating “in-work poverty”.
Or, and most alarmingly as this TASC report has found, a fraudulent system, where a full time worker is setup as a bogus contract worker by an employer. Enabling the company to avoid paying the worker’s PRSI. The stark denial of benefits to the worker ropes this in also under the “precarious work” umbrella.
Where Do The Government Benefit?
“Look at our falling unemployment! It’s great!” Does that line sound familiar?
Of course it does. We hear it all the time. Because that is the target. That single, overarching number. Make it smaller. THAT is the objective. Forget substance of what that actually means, or how that number is arrived at, or what it means to our social society. Just do it.
And when this is the target, the social injustices caused are swept aside, unaccounted for. An accepted vehicle to achieve their goal. Of course, this is nothing new to our government.
Just as emigration was used as an accepted release valve for unemployment.
Or sweeping cuts to our public services, decimating our social society was cheered as “successful cost-saving”.
Or how our “surging GDP” is trumpeted from the rooftops …until an anomaly one quarter outed the chicanery, after it was shown to have apparently grown by 26%!!
Our government are well accustomed to participating in this type of deception, detailed in a previous blog here “Economical With The Economical Truth“. So it comes as little surprise to see from the TASC report involving “Precarious work”, that they are balls deep in it again. And worse, they are complicit in the fraud.
Two Sides to This Mouth:
We hear the rhetoric/complete boloxology from our Taoiseach Leo Varadkar on “looking after people who get up early.” A play to the “squeezed middle” voters.
But given the level of “in work poverty” highlighted in this report.
Given government complicity in keeping people in this “precarious work”.
He’s not even doing that! Leo and his posh cohort are actually impacting on said “squeezed middle” even more!
20 percent of the workforce in Ireland are in precarious work. That is some figure. Keep that figure in mind every time a government representative bloats about the falling unemployment rate. And remember that government are content to take those people out of the “unemployment” bracket, and stick them in to the hardship of the “precarious work” bracket.
“In work poverty” – Working all the time, yet still struggling to live! (Failure of government to tackle expensive childcare, exorbitant rents etc compounds this).
“Zero hour contracts” – you don’t know your work week to week. 30 hours this week. 1 hour the next. Who knows. Want a mortgage? Want a loan to go back to college? Anything? Tough. No bank will listen to you.
Or multiple no pay schemes at a time. No chance to upskill between them. Holding you in that hole. While the state gives you a shovel to “dig your way out”. Pretending that’s actually a help!
And the worst of all?
Government complicity in companies fraudulently recategorising their full time employees as self employed, without the wishes or sometimes knowledge of the employee.
This is to the detriment of the employee’s social needs, and rights.
- Sick days.
- Jobseekers Benefit.
- Union representation
The employee is entitled to nothing.
Meanwhile, the Department of Social Protection have been actively overturning findings of Scope (those sent to investigate claims. Going on since at least the early 2000s!!) Great work on this by absolute must follow on twitter, Martin McMahon. His investigation and findings here are very concerning.
Anecdotal evidence in unions show this goes very deep. But our glorious Social Protection Department don’t track the number of these appeals to them. 100s. 1000s. likely more.
And The State encourages this low pay culture by so many companies. Give them loop holes and schemes, telling employers “Not to worry. The state will cover the person’s need of basic pay in order to live. We don’t want to impinge on any profits accrued”.
Or better yet, government wanted to cover the low, sub minimum wage pay of a worker entirely. What do you think Jobbridge was all about.
At the End of the Day…
But none of that matters.
The target is the unemployment number. Nothing more.
Varadkar will go on and rail the unemployed. Vilify them.
Turn people against each other. Deflect, and deceive on the real villain of the piece.
“Welfare Cheats Cheat us all” Leo told us.
Well given the welfare fraud the government have been found to be hugely complicit in…