When YOU Owe The Dole



Daire writes:

Over the last three working days I’ve received three items of post. One was from my apartment insurer (who I’m 90% certain won’t actually insure me as the setup of the apartment is a fire hazard), a letter I’ve apparently ‘requested’ from Irish Water asking me for my details to sign up.

And then I got this letter from the dole who dutifully told me that I owe them €22.30. This isn’t up for debate – according to their rules, the Department of Welfare’s incredibly just and virtuous rules, I do owe them this money.

However before I get my rant on, let’s look at this keeping in mind Enda’s promise to rescue all those souls who’ve fallen overboard in the past eight years or so.

He wants them all to have jobs by 2018 according to his St Patrick’s Day message. From my experience, I worked in the tax year of 2011, emigrated the same year and came back in October 2013. I received Dole within a record time of 10 days or so.

I started work in February 2014 until November 2014. I went to the dole office and was told I was not due anything because they wanted proof of my cohabiting, self-employed partner’s income (which was hard as it was her first year doing it).

After initial shock at being due nothing (when in doubt always lie to the Welfare, they should’ve taught me in school) having worked almost the entire year, they said my only option was to show them my partner’s receipts and bank statements.

They accumulated it to a yearly average and I was given the princely sum of €66 a week.

Needless to say this was pittance for rent, high season for ESB bill, food, house insurance, and internet. Since my partner works in the arts and the companies she worked for were awaiting grants from The Arts Council who have to wait for the money to be dripfed to them from Enda’s teat, she was constantly owed money but had none or not enough to even pay the rent.

So debts were incurred, family who were estranged for obvious reasons were contacted out of the blue and squeezed. Not the worst or even close to it for a lot of people but I suppose my point lies with those coming back to all those lovely jobs by 2018.

To those coming back by then (a lot of whom were on the dole before they left and not having worked in a while), make sure you’ve a nice bounty with you to feather your nest with, or your family has weathered the storm – coz the welfare employees are only the messengers. If you’ve a complaint/valid point to make about the system prepare to be ignored.

(Photocall Ireland)

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78 thoughts on “When YOU Owe The Dole

  1. Desert Fox

    Won’t be back til at least 2018, and I will have a well feathered nest too. Of course I’ll be back to inject my dollars into the country for a few weeks here and there in the meantime.

      1. Desert Fox

        No worries pal, nice to check in every now and again with the wee folk back home

  2. #Selfie Face

    One, slightly off topic point. Your apartment should be insured under the block policy so you don’t need insurance, unless you want to get contents insurance.

  3. Jonotti

    Plenty of jobs going so the problem is with you. Your partner earned enough to part support you but clearly no to the lifestyle you felt you were entitled to.

    1. Jimmee


      Also, a career in the arts depending on hand outs from Government isn’t exactly the sort of career you can expect to have a reliable standard of living. It’s all about choices, and there’s plenty of them for everyone.

  4. Dhaughton99

    Yet we all know that these jobs will be forced €50 workfare and made up schemes.

  5. Malta

    What does ‘souls who have fallen overboard’ mean? Those who lost their jobs, or those who emigrated?

    If it’s the latter, did Enda really say everyone who has left Ireland would be able to get a job in Ireland by 2018?

    1. Malta

      Also, Broadsheet, can we get a little context? Why does Daire have relations who are estranged ‘for obvious reasons’?

      1. Malta

        And, crucially for the post in question, *why* do the Social say you owe them money?

        1. Tidy Dave

          Yeah, I read this and felt it didn’t really go anywhere. I mean, stuff was said, but very little was expanded upon.

  6. Tá Frilly Keane


    If you went down to the local SW office and handef in the 22..30, they wouldn’t know what to do next.

  7. Rob_G

    So, because your partner was getting too much money from the state, you weren’t as entitled to as much free money as you thought you should be? And because they accidentally gave you too much free money and now want some of their free money back, your nose has been put out of joint?

    My heart bleeds for you, it really does…

    1. pedeyw

      This happened to me last year, I got occasional bits of freelance work and my girlfriend worked part time. When the freelance stuff dried up (it was never that good to begin with) I signed on. The social welfare people assessed us and decided that €350 was loads and that I wasn’t entitled to anything (something about potential earnings from me, I think?). I’m thankfully working full time again now.
      Basically assessing a couple’s income is unfair. We wouldn’t be entitled to tax benefits for cohabiting so why are we forced to be assessed as a single unit?

      1. postmanpat

        Freelance? let me guess?.. “Web” or “graphic design” . I suppose hoofing boxes around in a manual job is too good for you. yeah, your too good for that . stay on the scratch and follow your dream through your 20’s and into your 30 until you are completely unemployable. Freelance…did you stop drawing the scratcher when you were earning on these freelance jobs? do you use paid for software or just torrent your Photoshop and Illustrator and Dreamweaver ? give me a ****ing break!

          1. Buzz

            + 1 The FG bots are in full swing. Could they not set up a forum for them on Mount Street where they could go for a virtual circle jerk.

        1. pedeyw

          Wrong on every single count. I applied for plenty of jobs. Most manual labour jobs won’t take someone who they know would be out of there as soon as something better comes along, so they see degree on my cv and pass. I have loads of experience working in shops through my late teens and through college. And no, I don’t work in Web or graphic design. Thanks for your useless input, though.

        2. pedeyw

          Also, yes I declared all work to the dole. I averaged about 2 weeks work every month up to september. Then at one point but then had a stretch of 6 weeks with nothing and had to bite the bullet and sign on again. Got a full time job in November which I’m still in.

        3. 15 cents

          he’s studied to be a designer (if thats what he is), because he was drawn to it and liked it, and kept it goin, and tried to make a living off it .. but you think he just just give it up altogether and do something he has no interest in? i swear, some of the people on here today.

  8. Garthicus

    I’ve been living abroad off and on for around 10 years, I never dreamed of going to the SW office upon my return. Pay your €22.30

  9. Odis

    They started doing this a while back, when the government first got in. They checked out who owed them any money on the books. And flagged them for when they signed on again or what have you. They figure you left owing them two days, by the looks of things. Bear in mind they count Saturday as a working day.

    By the way I think you are mistaken, You weren’t given €66 a week. You were given €66.90. Which in my books is nearer €67. See how your lies find you out?

  10. AdvertisingOnPoliceCars

    Here is an idea, get a job, if you feel you dont have the skills ,try to sign up for a training course.

    1. Michael

      I think it’s the tone of the post they are reacting to.

      “dripfed to them from Enda’s teat”
      “always lie to the Welfare”

      It doesn’t exactly sway you to support him.

      1. Nigel

        Because our respect and admiration for both the ruling government and government bureaucracy will not tolerate even the mildest of slights?

      2. Sadface

        From what ive seen and heard happen to friends that have had to sign on (some for the first time since leaving school) telling the welfare anything over the actual requirements,is usually detrimental to your claim..unfortunatly a the system is so fecked,honesty doesnt seem to be the best policy..

        Also,yes the comments are very Blue this morning..

        1. ahjayzis

          I was claiming briefly between college finishing and getting a job – I had been working freelance when I was in college, but that dried up, company I was doing work for folded. Showed them a letter to this effect, accounts, etc. And they reduced my payment by 40 a week because I might do freelance? it made no sense to me, since they gave me those forms that if you happen to get work for a day you drop it in with the hours you worked – I was completely unemployed, they just did it in the hope I wouldn’t appeal. I have so much sympathy for anyone dealing with that on a long term basis. There’s no shame in unemployment these days, tis chronic!

    2. Rob_G

      Also, for all of the ‘poor me’ tone of the missive, Daire managed to to come back to Ireland in October 2013, and find a job by February, which isn’t too bad by any standards.

      1. Nigel

        And no doubt he’ll get another one soon, by the sound of him. Wasn’t really the point of the post, though, was it?

        1. Malta

          What was the point of the post though? It has digs at Irish Water, poor building standards (I think), Enda, the Social, his relatives. It’s basically some dude’s Facebook rant, and it’s on here cos it facilitated a good headline.

          1. Nigel

            I think the point is, that this country clearly needs to be harsher, meaner, nastier and more unpleasant. We must sneer, snigger, slag and snap. We need kicks, not kindness, cynicism, not smiles, grudges not fudges. Etc.

  11. Owen

    A few times in my life I have been between contracts. I have never claimed the dole. Not that I would not want to, and I feel by now I have paid enough tax to claim it for life. However, every time I considered claiming the dole I found it was quicker and easier to just get a job. I know that might sound pompous, but I’m not talking about career jobs. I mean ANY job. 100’s out there. Temp work, short term contracts etc. And I’m not talking jobs bridge. You seem to be able to write clearly enough, I’m sure you could pick something up easy enough. Drop the standards, but keep the chin up.

    Indeed.ie / Irishjobs.ie / CPL Recruitment / tempjobs.ie

    On a side note, I have a friend who also got a letter asking for quite a bit back from the dole office (couple of 100). It’s a shocking error they seem to make frequently. Unacceptable.

    1. pedeyw

      It’s the aggressive tone the letter takes as well. I got one after declaring some earnings to them (I collected dole while doing two weeks work becaus I hadn’t been paid, obviously). The lady in the dole office was very nice, and said I’d probably just get a couple of weeks stopped, three days later a got a letter threatening legal action if I didn’t pay up.

    2. ahjayzis

      Do they allow repayment in installments? If not I can imagine loansharks rubbing their hands…

  12. Clampers Outside!

    My old flat mate moved out, and in with his girlfriend (she stole my buddy), his job switched from 5 day week to 3 and back to 5 and he had been on the dole a short time prior to the job. Anyway he got this letter and that letter and he owed them money, then he got another letter saying he didn’t owe so much.
    Numerous phone calls, visits to welfare and letters and more phone calls came down to one lady saying….

    “the difference between the two letters is that well over half the people in here, in the welfare office. are REFUSING to use the new computers and new software……..” which would make the whole system work more efficiently.

    Take a deep breath.

    Think about what “unions” have become and how with the likes of welfare, planning, HSE, etc. would run without them….. or at least with less interfering in day to-day stuff.

    Now *sigh*.

    Thank fupp I’ve never had to join a union.

    1. Album tracks

      Without unions there wouldn’t be eight hour day, a five day week, sick pay, or public holidays.

  13. timbot

    I’ve been working for ten years and earn a good wage, I pay my taxes and you know what…I want then to support the arts.I also want them to support young people embarking on their first professional outing not to be forced to give up on their dream to take one of the plenty of low paying temporary jobs currently on offer
    And you know what, if the state wants to chase people who owe it money let’s start with those who owe us most… Siteserv, nama, bondholders.
    Punch up not down and stay classy broadsheet commenters

    1. pedeyw

      +1. Amazed by the amount of borderline randroids here telling people to “just get a job”. It’s not always that easy.

    2. edalicious


      Some people are reacting like he’s been sat on the dole for the last 5 years making no attempt to get a job.

  14. Eulich McGee

    For some people getting a job is still easy, however for othrs, who may have sketchy work experience etc, the only option is job bridge. Combine this with the fact that the socials means testing takes no account of your outgoings, it can be a long climb back up.

    I myself was left with no social welfare because my wifes income exceeded the threshhold, it didn’t matter that we had only €150 a month left after paying the motgage, esb, transport and insurance to cloth and feed ourselves. The €50 internship money would not have even paid my weekly bus fare to the nearest town. Luckily we found a way out but for others they are stuck right in the mire.

    1. Clampers Outside!

      No, no, no… you’re not supposed to put forward practical examples.

      Where’s the rage and “it’s your own fault” stuff….

      Glad to hear you’re back working dude.

    1. Nigel

      Remember, don’t ask for help, don’t complain or explain or seek for clarity or human contact. We don’t like that. We don’t do that. Stop it. Stop it now.

    2. ahjayzis

      What the hell is social welfare for if it’s not for helping you when you need it? Why do we pay in when we work?!

      This guy hasn’t been on the scratcher since secondary school, don’t pretend you’re too good for social protection if the worst were to happen.

  15. Eve

    I’ll admit I was peeved to get a revised tax credits form yesterday (started new job 3 weeks ago), with a deduction of €490 in my annual credits, because “you’ve got to pay tax on the JSB you got this year”

    1. Sadface

      I know right? The compassion has gone from their hearts.. i think they should all move to Britain,it would like a paradise for them.. Really,i hope they feck off over there..

  16. 15 cents

    me thinks all the “get a job” posts here are from people who’ve not been in need of one before. i was out of a work for ages, and i upskilled and got back into my area of expertise. took a few years. but i stuck at it. i didnt go get any oul job in the meantime. i had studied and worked in my profession for years and was damned if i was guna jack it all in because other people broke the country. and anyone tellin me to “get a job” well.. no one was sayin that, coz there werent any jobs. but as someone out of work against their will, hearin the ‘get a job’ cr@p is highly frustrating and insulting.

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