I have read with stark shock and horror the attitudes people have to the Irish unemployed.
Last month I lost my job and I have had to sign on to support my family.
The welfare I receive does very little to help and support myself and my loved ones.
I am a married man with 5 children. I didnt have my children to claim benefits, I had 5 children because I knew I could love and support them.
The company I worked for went bust after the banks withdrew credit from them.
My Income was well over €60,000 a year.
I am able to claim around €460 per week in welfare.
This equals to around €65 per person in my family.
I also receive Child benefit of around €960.00.
My total Welfare payment including CB, equals to around €681.00 per week.
This is around €35,412 per year.
With my Welfare payment I have the following bills.
A mortgage of €850 per month.
Weekly food shop of €260.00
Monthly electricity costs of €140.00 - €280 per month average spend.
Motor costs of € 250.00 per month, this is made up from the costs of taxing my vehicle, servicing petrol and insurance.
Because of my family size I have to have a vehicle of a certain size, I also live in the countryside and have to travel for job interviews, shopping and signing on.
I have a monthly credit card repayment of € 100.00 per month.
I have a car loan of €400.00 per month, the car is essential as mentioned above.
And I also have a home improvements loan of €300 per month.
My total outgoings are €3166 per month.
My total incomings are €2951 per month.
I also have other costs which I havent mentioned, Clothes for the kids, School uniforms, TV licence, House Insurance, not to mention I have no idea how I am going to be able to pay towards Birthdays and Christmas.
How will I afford heating oil this winter?
Clearly I am in discussion with MABS to reduce my loan repayments, but even after meaningful reductions such as the above I still will have to repay a hefty amount of cash to my debtors.
Mabs have told me that I will be left with virtually no money at the end of each month.
I am unemployed by no fault of my own. I want to work. I cant get a job.
I have debts.
I am eating up my savings.
Can someone please tell me how I am living it up on Welfare?
I always thought my job was safe, but alas I was wrong.
It happened to me, it could happen to you.