Some of my students today complained – softly – about the workings of the Back to Education Allowance. Like many such schemes globally it allows for some mechanism to maintain welfare payments whilst returning to full time education at both second and third level. Laudable enough, although I haven’t seen this evaluated in terms of impact but then again what is new for Irish policy.
Such schemes in other countries when evaluated have been shown to be of moderate impact on the person involved – and there is the so called ‘dead weight’ issues whereby people who would go back to education full time regardless can now go with welfare support.
That latter problem would be less likely where these schemes are aimed at ‘mature’ students. What is odd about the Irish case is that the scheme is generally aimed at folks at a relatively young age – 21 and above, who are out of work for more than nine months (for undergraduate education). In fact, there are eligibility rules for this scheme that would see someone as young as 20 qualifying with respect to third level education. That is young by the standards of these schemes internationally. This could be a good thing in the current climate – maybe some young adults made bad choices at 18, have lost their job, and are now going to try to rectify this. But equally – and this is the thing some undergrads mentioned today – you could have a situation where some students entering their third year of college in September will be joined at University by freshman classmates from the same Leaving Cert cohort coming in with a weekly allowance.
Of course, the ones coming in under the scheme have been unemployed. That won’t have been a pleasant experience. But they won’t have become deskilled in two years since their Leaving Certificate. It is unlikely that we will have scarring effects from the unemployment. The return to education will rescue them – their former School classmates will have a much rougher time if they fall unemployed. And they were smart enough to get in from their Leaving Certificate – although some of these schemes have entry pathways designed by the colleges themselves (which is a whole other story!), the application process is largely the normal one (i.e. CAO). In reality, as my students noted, they could just apply and get in without any support.
The question these inquisitive economics students had was about incentives of course. They wondered if the rules – coupled with rising education costs as tuition fees of a sort are reintroduced – would lead some students to ‘drop out’ at Leaving Certificate stage for a while before returning to third level with funding support. In general, could the deadweight problem increase?
The question these students should have asked is whether the cost of these schemes are justified based on the benefits (we don’t know), or compared to how you might spend the money alternatively (and here they should have a view – a Back to Education allowance may have less of an impact on the economy or the person than an internship scheme aimed at recent graduates, for example).
As an aside another thing that really annoyed these students was the fact that if a Back to Education Allowance recipient failed and had to repeat the year, they kept their allowances as long as they remained full time attendees – a ‘regular’ student would become liable for fees if they repeat leading many to become ‘external’ students for that repeat year! That particular aspect of the programme really drew their wrath.
It does seem to me that the basic aims of this scheme, like many more indirect welfare schemes, are good, but the implementation of this scheme lacks any central guidance or vision, and the potential for confused signals and incentives are very clear.
Anyway, it did set me wondering about the sort of kinks and knots we have in the welfare schedule.
For example, a review of the DSP website shows that on the welfare side of things we have a lot of schemes and means of support that are down to the decision of what was known in my day as the ‘relieving officer’ – that again is largely a good thing, allowing for swift intervention when need arises, but it also masks the actual level of welfare interventions being received – both monetary and nonmonetary – and also possibly promotes a dependency on a welfare infrastructure.
Other schemes – like ones that encourage the renovation of households to deal with the needs of the elderly or disabled – require you to use prescribed suppliers with the Exchequer providing a grant towards some fixed percentage of the cost. I know from experience that it can be cheaper to go to your local hardware superstore, buy a bath for persons with mobility problems, and get it fitted, than go to the prescribed supplier even when you have the Exchequer provided subsidy!
One thing an incoming Government finally has the chance to address is some rewriting of the tax and welfare schedule. It would be good to map some of these more obscure, odd and sometime perverse (in terms of incentives!) welfare and tax issues.
29 replies on “Welfare and incentives”
Anyway, it did set me wondering about the sort of kinks and knots we have in the welfare schedule.
Could be a good title for a presentation – ‘Our welfare system is kinky’. It should get some attention.
I think a good way of removing some kinks (like those cause by our medical card system) is universal provision. It has the same logic as a lump-sum tax, but almost entirely the opposite policy prescription.
Also I was surprise Lenihan left in some kinks in the income tax system in the last budget (regarding the social charge). He had plenty of time to fix it.
As an avid reader of Irish Economy.ie, I have been hoping for some time that some-one would address this critical issue facing our economy. In my work I deal with the interaction of the welfare system and labour force every day. To say that the system is Kinky is a large understatement.
It is worth considering that Welfare in Ireland is provided in 3 different ways: –
1 – Primary – Dole Payment
2 – Secondary – Rent – Fuel Allowances – Back to School Footwear (and Medical Card) – Which seriously distorts individual decision making
3 – Tertiary – Odd additional welfare trapping incentives such as free summer-camps for children, or eligibility for getting your house insulated for free etc.
It is the interaction and play off between these welfare benefits versus income from employment which every individual considers when faced with an opportunity for low waged employment. (Also interacts with Family Income Supplement for those eligible). It is very difficult to put a monetary value on many – particularly medical card, but it profoundly influences decision making at the micro level.
I attempted to examine the interaction of the welfare system and potential (after tax) wages for various income levels for various family types using the following variables: –
Family Status – Single or Married
Various numbers of children (up to 5) of various ages and whether or not in full-time education.
Employment status of spouse (One or 2 adult welfare dependents)
Accommodation – Owned outright, mortgaged, rented (private), rented local authority.
Duration and type of welfare payment – means-tested or non-means-tested payments.
There were over 100 family types, and for each possible income from minimum wage to 60K there are a multiple number of ways in which the taxation system and primary and secondary welfare systems interact.
As you can see one very quickly gets bogged down – I did – I failed to complete the work. It would be great if one of you take this on as a project for students. I looked at 2010 – but while the welfare benefits have reduced somewhat in 2011, bringing more low waged into the tax net may have decreased the incentive to work for those who can only expect low wages.
I can assure you that a real welfare trap does exist for many families, where they would be worse off working for many wages on offer. In addition – the disincentive for one spouse to work (since individualisation of taxation) is the same as the incentive was for the second spouse to go out working when individualisation was introduced – just in reverse – so when both spouses are unemployed in a receding labour market, the welfare trap is particularly strong.
Its is the complexity of the interaction of the welfare and taxation systems for micro-decision makers, which I believe is the reason for so little analysis, investigation and reporting of the “Welfare Trap” issue. – Yet its effect is absolutely profound as I can testify working at the coal face with many job-seekers every day.
Ultimately if the economy consists of tens of thousands of individual decision makers, and it is the decision making processes and incentives of the 440,000 currently on the live register upon which a recovery depends. Then it makes great sense to forensically investigate what those incentives are and determine that there is a real incentive to work for everyone.
I’d love to see some more commentary by Irish Economy on this issue.
This scheme should focus on providing people with skills which improve their employment prospects. Whilst Social Studies is important for example, allowing someone who is long term unemployed to spend three years studying this will add very little to their employment prospects and after all I think the greater goal of these policies is to improve employment prospects.
Nominated suppliers lists are a recipe for grants to become fat supplier margins. This is what hapenned with the central heating upgrade grant for example.
This could be a good thing in the current climate – maybe some young adults made bad choices at 18, have lost their job, and are now going to try to rectify this. But equally – and this is the thing some undergrads mentioned today – you could have a situation where some students entering their third year of college in September will be joined at University by freshman classmates from the same Leaving Cert cohort coming in with a weekly allowance.
Not only did young people make bad choices over the past ten years they were actively encouraged to become involved in the pyramid scheme that was the building industry. Any scheme that tries to redress this appalling policy stupidity and refocus these people with more transferable skills should be welcomed.
The point you raise regarding the back to educations people now rubbing shoulders with people who chose ‘the steep and thorny path’ to education should be discounted. Indeed these students complaining should get used to it. There are far far more insidious comparative situations in the country right now that have no policy merit.
Like for instance the property developers whose bad debts have destroyed other businesses and peoples livelihoods yet who are still considered so masterful at their trade that the State through NAMA is prepared to remunerate them with a kings ransom.
It is unlikely that these property developers will ever have to become acquainted with the old fashioned relieving officer. His limits are far too low for the amounts of relief being doled out to them.
re: Ultimately if the economy consists of tens of thousands of individual decision makers, and it is the decision making processes and incentives of the 440,000 currently on the live register upon which a recovery depends. Then it makes great sense to forensically investigate what those incentives are and determine that there is a real incentive to work for everyone.
I take it that when “Welfare Trap” is transformed to “Work Chain”, all our unemployment problems will be over.
No – I’m not suggesting “Work Chain” or “Work-Fare”.
Another reason for the lack of disussion on this topic is that it is considered taboo or too senstive to discuss. Thats a shame.
I am also conscous that one knee jerk reaction to the “Welfare Trap” problem is to simply reduce welfare putting thousands into poverty. That is too simple a solution and is not what I am suggesting. [Although comparing welfare in Newry to Dundalk would make one wonder about welfare policy in our banrupt republic].
The solution is not simple, but should not be ignored.
I also see international global forces – oversupply of labour, and increased taxation driving down net wages, with that trend expeted to continue.
There must be an “optimum” balance between incentive to work and welfare for various family classifications. Is there an economic model on this issue?If the incentive to work side of the equation (net wages) is being driven down then this must have implications for the other side of the equation (welfare).
I can assure you that a real welfare trap does exist for many families, where they would be worse off working for many wages on offer.
This is disingenuous. Nearly nobody “wants” to be on the dole (significant social stigma, as you may perhaps have noticed), but at the moment there are no jobs. Clearly you are far from poorly-off yourself, and lacking in sympathy for those who are less fortunate.
The talk of a “welfare trap” is a poor figleaf for what you really mean.
[Although comparing welfare in Newry to Dundalk would make one wonder about welfare policy in our banrupt republic].
Again with nonsense straight out of the Sindo. Give me a real social democratic state with adequate public health provision and general safety net, and we can talk about the level of dole provision. Otherwise, go away.
I think @Starsky made his/her points calmly and has repeatedly noted how this topic can move into emotive territory. I think someone working in this field has a perspective that is worth listening to.
There is a lot of academic research on this domain – a lot of it is Nordic and UK due to fantastic datasets. See the work at IFAU in Uppsala or IFS in the UK. Interestingly I would think that academic research on issues of welfare-to-work and related matters are often supportive of what might be seen as ‘centrist’ or even centre-left approaches despite how economists are viewed.
The point beyond which a person ceases to be eligible for Family Income Suppliment – After that point one also loses entitlements to medical card, back to school footwear and fuel allowances. – Some families who might be offered a pay rise would be better of declining.
In 2010 we had the very odd situation whereby eligibility for the medical card gave an exemption to the income levy, but if one earned €5 too much, then the income levy was applied to all income making the individual substantially worse off – solution – go back to your boss and ask for a pay reduction – keep your medical card and have more net wages in your pay-packet!
Fortunately the universal social charge has eliminated this particular kink. for 2011. However the cut-off points elgibility for medical card remains a serious kink
Nice to see such charity in your assumptions on Starsky’s motivations.
One of the things – related to your point and which EWI would apparently reject – that has been discussed many times is the absolute level of Irish welfare. The Irish welfare system pays many families more than they would earn if working the average industrial wage in the countries that are paying our bills right now, like Germany and France and probably (I haven’t checked recently) the UK. There’s an OECD tool that allows you to compare welfare payments against working incomes, albeit only for a few family combinations. It’s a scary read.
If you make any reasonable assumption on what’s likely to happen to Irish salaries and net take home pay in the coming years then the welfare trap is going to become a major issue. People might not want to be on the dole, but when there are few jobs and you make more money on the dole then even principled people like EWI might see a temptation.
Unemployed young people with no hope have been known to engage in antisocial behaviour. They have to be sopped up with whatever low cost schemes the government can devise. 3rd Level is cheaper than jail.
For example at the dawn of old age pensions they were used to dislodge the old fogies (low productivity) so as soldiers at the end of wars would have a much improved chance of gaining employment. The logic being that young people with rifles and trained to kill could not be left to roam the streets. Subsequently during periods of high unemployment the pension eligibility age was reduced. I smile when I hear young people complaining about the burden of supporting the old age pensioners.
When looking at the various schemes that on the surface do not appear rational or logical you have to put yourself in the shoes of a politician who has been berated by mothers and grandmothers dozens of times a month for doing nothing for their unemployed children and grandchildren. It is good to be able to say we have very good programs that address your exact problem Missus. It beats standing there with your mouth shut looking embarrassed .
This is a very interesting topic, thanks for the post.
The question of the potential deadweight loss involved in giving an allowance to someone who would have returned to education anyway could possibly be tested by amending the scheme so that failure of a year does indeed result in the revocation of the allowance. Studying the relative drop-out rates between allowance-recipients and non-allowance-recipients who drop out after failure of a year (in particular those who cite inability to pay as their reason for dropping out) could provide some insight into the incentive the allowance gives in returning to education. If the drop-out rates are similar for each group, this could be evidence that there is sufficient incentive to return to education anyway without an allowance, and that affordability may not be as much of an issue as thought.
“The point you raise regarding the back to educations people now rubbing shoulders with people who chose ‘the steep and thorny path’ to education should be discounted. Indeed these students complaining should get used to it. There are far far more insidious comparative situations in the country right now that have no policy merit.”
I have to disagree. Disregarding bad policy on the basis that there are currently worse policies in place does not seem optimal, or even logical.
In the early 90’s I did a 3yr diploma in a VEC, worked nights and weekends. Several students in my class had been unemployed and received their unemployment assistance or allowance of equal amount while attending. I found this grossly unfair. Those people had much more time to study and have a life while I put my life on hold for 3 years.
I was in my early 20’s and the others were of similar age. Needless to say he came first in class while I came 2nd. I also had to buy all my equipment and they got a small grant for theirs. What’s fair about that? If you’re going to give money to one and not the other that is unfair. Pay everyone to attend education or no one. Like most, welfare goals seem lofty and worthwhile in political and middle class terms but in the end they distort the market place, are grossly unfair, cause a deadweight for society to bear, with the spending itself plus the administration. Education for education sake is not economically valuable for society to bear the costs. Short-term training course might be more valuable as another poster said. If a person really wants to get a Uni degree, they will do it themselves.
It’s laughable reading all the tripe about high welfare payments when every profession and civil servant receives renumeration as if they are running a very profitable empire.
And what answer do the idiots come up with, reduce the welfare payment by a quarter.
“Unemployed young people with no hope have been known to engage in antisocial behaviour. They have to be sopped up with whatever low cost schemes the government can devise. 3rd Level is cheaper than jail.”
Is anti-social behaviour worse now than what it was thirty years ago when much less people were in 3rd level?
If almost every Jack and Jill goes to 3rd level, how are standards maintained? Pertinent piece in the Irish Times this morning.
As a sink for employment creation, 3rd level isn’t working unless increases in public sector employment within are counted.
@ The Alchemist
I agree with you that thirty years ago there was anti-social behaviour. There was also religion, social control, the emigration safety valve and little to no experience of prosperity. Hence no feelings of entitlement.
As to standards, primary school graduation guaranteed a person a good job in the 1920s’. This became secondary school graduation in the 1970s’ and Third Level in the 1990s’. In other countries the pattern was similar we were just 20 to 40 years behind the curve.
Employers were and are blindly using years of education completed as a screening tool. So people stayed on longer in order to get an edge in the labour market.
North America entered the era of diminishing returns on University Education thirty years ago, in Ireland this is a new phenomenon. The scarcity value of a degree is lost and now the competition is two degrees or a Masters or a Doctorate. So there we have the new standard as degrees became as common as Primary School in the 1920s’.
Sad but true with no end in sight. Prolonged adolescence is the phrase used to describe the process overseas. To make matters worse I had a discussion with a couple of Physicist PHds’ last year who contracted out work to India and were concerned that the 3rd world was now undermining the PHd. job market which up to now was inviolate.
This is exactly the sort of experimental approach to social policy innovation that is needed. What you describe is, of sorts, a research design to address whether X causes Y. This is rarely what we do in Ireland despite best efforts of folks like me to promote a more careful design and implementation of policy in these domains. The interaction between one policy and another, and between welfare and work, would be exactly the sort of thing ‘uncovered’ from such an approach.
you lose your allowance if required to repeat a year.
having been a mature student the drop out rate was far lower in my particular field amongst (Engineering ) the younger cohort with an approximate 25% drop out rate based reviewing the attendance roles and 2 persons out of a cohort of 15 mature students on the back to education scheme not completing the degree (in both cases due to medical reasons). At no point was returning to college unless this scheme was in place affordable or practical for me or the others unless this money was in place.Try borrowing €45000 to return to college or working a sixty hour week in construction while attempting a serious degree.
I’d like to agree with Starsky that it might be a good time to encourage an incoming new government to remove at least some of the kinks in the Irish Social Welfare system.
Being unemployed, finding out about, and getting all you entitlements in Ireland is actually both time consuming and hard work. No wonder we need so many parish-pump TD busy at work getting people things they are entitled to anyway, to use Vincent Browne’s phrase.
This matters – not just in the lack of respect it shows for the unemployed, something I’ve mentioned before, but in the flexibility and adaptability of our labour market. Even the most optimistic amongst us will agree we are going to have double digit unemployment for quite a few years – we’re not going to be able to give much more than a basic standard of living, whoever is in government, but if we could create incentives for people to be underemployed, or be coming in and out of employment we will at least maintain not just the dignity of those caught up in this crisis but also maintain human capital. Even at the same number of unemployed, if the individuals change, so we have a few as possible long-term unemployed, we will be much better able to take advantage of up turns when they arrive.
If is has taken you 14 weeks or more of hard work to get the payment to which you are entitled and you are offered what you know will be only a short term contract, the incentive is to either not take the job or to be a dole cheat. We had moved away from a post-colonial culture of widespread tax and welfare fraud – it is easily something that could be recreated, given people’s perceptions of the unfairness of the way the burden of the crisis has been shared.
One of the ‘kinks’ a mature and thoughtful student of mine here pointed out to me is that if you have children of college age, and the alternative to unemployment is pay around the relevant threshold (€40-€50 thousand), you might be better of unemployed and to have your children on grants.
Of course the main problem is that we earn income as individuals, and get social welfare payments as families, so these kinks will persist, even if we create a one-stop shop for benefits. ‘Integrate the tax and social welfare system’ is a familiar cry from those remember the crises of the eighties.
The college grants “kink” has been continually exploited, farmers and self-employed (understandably, if disagreeably) using all possible chances of manipulating their taxable income.
For most PAYE workers – particularly middle class ones – these grants, which disappear as you earn more money, are simply another brutal progressive tax. The harder you work and the more you earn, the harder it is to become better off. Of course, most people in Irish life think this is perfectly “fair”.
Of course, while it’s bad enough for the parents, the child’s point of view is wierd too. Even if you’re 19 and a voting adult, your chances of getting these grants to fund your education depend on your parents’ income. Not yours, your parents’. Talk about kinky!
According to a research group at the University of Exceter there is a direct link between
psycology and economics. If we look at Ireland today our economic and psycological
compass is pointing straight for 1985. The problem with 1985 is that it was immediatly
followed by 86,87,88 and 89, all forgetable years economicly. To avoid a repeat of the lost decade
we must turn around psycologicly 180 degrees.
Today in Ireland we feel understandably disinfranchised and removed from the current status and
indeed future of our own country. With tall tales of Foreign Bankers and Hedge Fund managers
pulling the strings at the top of the stage. However we are sitting on the greatest OPPORTUNITY
in the history of the state. WE OWN THE BANKS ! With 49 % of BoI equalling 650 million shares
and 93 % of AIB equaling 265 million shares we have an opportunity to turn this ship around.
To give the people back a vested interst in their own country 100 shares of BoI and 70 shares of AIB must
be distributed to each of the 1.5 million households thrughout the nation. These shares can arrive in
a framed certificate and hung on the kitchen wall. Collectivly then as a nation we can begin increasing
the value of our shares and our country.
It could be an extra effort by someone to hire a fellow shareholder to do some spring cleaning jobs
or it could be a shareholder on the dole who was making 50k a year taking a minimum wage job
putting the country first in this time of crisis. On a bigger scale it could mean the 85 % of people
who have held on to their jobs through 08, 09, and 10 realizing that if they haven,t lost their jobs by now
they are not going to lose them and return to normal spending patterns. Everyone could make at least
one sacrafice and pitch in for themselves, the shares and the country thus creating a tangent between all 3.
Waiting for someone else to come in and save us may take 20 weeks or it may take 20 years. We must stop waiting for things to get better and
simply make them better. So if the next Minister of Finance would be so kind as to give us our share of the shares it would be his/her part in this project taken care of.
In most countries, family income is factored into the grant and or education loan decision up to age 25. Governments have been lowering the grant amount and increasing the loan amount as govt deficits loomed larger.
The Irish are not noted for being complacent and submissive, we are masters at working the system to best advantage. Another part of our rich and convoluted culture. The TD as intermediary is not common in the developed world, it is normal in the developing world along with palm greasing or as we put “a little something for your trouble”.
In my own experience the Back to Education Allowance is a part of the revolving door of dole schemes.
I know long term unemployed person who went back to college under this scheme, completed a degree then went straight back on the dole. Having no interest in actually looking for a job whatsoever. And nobody asked him any questions. A few years later and he’s back in college now under the very same scheme. What a joke.
Another long term dolie i know, attended college under this scheme, had loads of attentence issues, didn’t finish the degree and is straight back on the dole no questions asked.
The welfare debate is always too complicated if it starts from what people should be entitled to. It’s easier if we start with what we can afford.
re: I have to disagree. Disregarding bad policy on the basis that there are currently worse policies in place does not seem optimal, or even logical.
Well, I would agree with you if incentivising people to go back to education were bad policy. In general we would probably both agree that it is good policy. But the objection made by existing students to back to work students seems more a begrudgery argument than anything else.
I also wanted to make the point, albeit unconnected with this thread, that vast amounts of money is being handed out in welfare to failed multimillionaires who bankrupt their own companies, bankrupt the banks and bankrupt the country but somehow have managed to retain favoured social welfare on the basis of the masterful expertise.
This is principally because the vastly overpaid NAMA officials haven’t a clue how to run a simple debt collection/property management company.
To get back to the general point of the thread, I do agree that there are “disincentive to work” quirks in the system, though the phrase is pejorative in itself. The biggest of these by far is the cutting off of the rent allowance on receipt of work. The immediate cutting off of such allowances is of course nonsense.
I came across a situation last year where is was absolutely uneconomical for people to take up two weeks work because of this issue.
On the other hand (PS I am not an economist), my stomach churns each time I hear spokespeople from the Irish Taxation Institute whinge about the marginal rate of “tax” on behalf of their wealthy supporters.
The marginal rate of “tax” at the lower levels of income is in excess of 100% if rent allowance and other benefits are taken into account.
You won’t hear the Institute of Taxation spokespeople whingeing about this particular marginal rate.
Overall the issue is very worthy of detailed analysis but the danger is that any study will be immediately high-jacked by the ‘flog em back to work brigade’ usually for very narrow reasons of lowering the labour rate and despite the fact that no work exists anyway.
I’ve not seen a cost/benefit analysis of this?
It might be best practice to optimise the cost/benefit ratio. Intuitively I get the impression that depending the outcome depends on who gets the benefit & for what.
There seem to be a shortage of programmers (?) and if that is the case then it might seem to be a good idea to sponsor people who would study programming. However, I do not subscribe to the theory that everybody can do as well as everybody else in everything & it is only a matter of incentive. I believe that some people are more suitable for certain things than others. Incentivising someone to do something which might not be suitable to that particular someone can be a bad idea. Both for the sponsor, who will get bad value for money & for the sponsored who might have wasted years of his/her life.
I suppose the viability of the plan depends on what the expected benefit is. Is it to ‘warehouse’ people until a time when the economic cycle is more favourable or is it to address a market failure. Sometimes governments do need to step in, with the information available it is difficult to judge if this is such a case.
I am wondering how this site managed to get so far up the listings. Although there are many odd ball to unique sites hats off to this between
Not sure whether to laugh or believe the world is ending. An ‘Irish’ Economy site that is all about ‘welfare’ in the middle of corrupt criminal led ‘economic’ recession.
Where have you been. Is this the world beyond a world.
Of course the ‘Irish’ welfare system is bonkers it has been developed that way
1 to take people out of society deliberately
2 It was incentives for the development of lowest self esteem people to become dependent and self destructive. Easily manipulated. Of course they become useless but they were not born that way. No they don’t have the ability to change they have been severely conditioned how does that work. Now we got you to a success state now you can go back to how you should have been. If they were up to changing dont you think they would have bashed the system to stop ending up where they are. Which would probably have meant serious unrest. Then they would be called yobs. Cant win. Remember ‘they’ are all your bother and your race and probably your creed and probably colour. And all on your watch. So now who’s to blame for the lack of incentives.
3 there is no ‘extras’ for new unemployed there is a trap. Hardly even an issue. Like saying. Is there an incentive to call an ambulance at an accident. There is no incentive to call a witchdoctor which is what a low pay job is.
Any job that cannot pay a living wage based on minimal basic health and minimal basic mental well being. That is minimal not at a level to cause long term damage. Leaving every at a greater loss. Is not a job it is a something that is a very grey area. And if we need anything like this in society then there has to be a crises situation that is label Crises and governments need to take actions taken accordingly. Thats common sense.
And the medical card is not worth the plastic its printed on. Maybe if you were diagnosed long time ago and on repeat prescription or something. The body count has not been done on the people who die from what were minor but potential dangerous health issues. But never get the minor treatment and die waiting for the appointment or get it too late. So that puts medicine on the no long fit for purpose as a human way of dealing with illness and a pointless piece of plastic in many respects.
There are other welfare issues such as ex Ministers and Public Servants who used their position for the greater bad how big a welfare fraud is that and no one seems to be able to figure out how to stop their benefit. But again that is not economics. That is a legal matter a police matter a constitutional matter. It is a component of economics as it is a significant burden on the state and will be for many years. But it is not an economic issue.
Seriously well done on the listings thing. Genuinely very impressed