From top: Social Welfare office; RTÉ Montrose; Sean O’Rourke (above left) and Paddy O’Gorman
A 100 per cent “Christmas Bonus” social welfare payment is paid to all recipients of long-term social welfare payments.
In light of this, there was an item about this payment on RTÉ Radio One Today with Seán O’Rourke with Paddy O’Gorman earlier today, during which Mr O’Gorman chatted to some people who were receiving it.
Further to this..
Frances Byrne tweetz:
It’s ‘double social welfare week’ according to Today with Seán O’Rourke and there’ll be a Paddy O’Gorman piece this morning with people receiving this annual payment.
I’ve tweeted before about these radio pieces which usually take place at welfare or post offices, or outside District Courts or prisons.
Why somebody in RTÉ thinks these reports are a good idea is completely beyond me.
Somebody, somewhere in our national broadcaster thinks that the only places you’ll find poor/working class people are when they’re collecting their welfare payment or outside a court or prison.
In the latter case, having themselves committed a crime or visiting someone who has.
Maybe they also think these pieces are the only way to include poor/working class people on the media.
That this is how a public service broadcaster ‘does’ inclusion.
I am an avid radio listener (and I believe it’s vital that Ireland has a well-supported public service broadcaster).
But I have never, ever heard a regular piece on Irish radio or television which tells us about the tax breaks received by middle class people. Why?
There are ways those of us with good incomes benefit from various breaks and very wealthy people can avail of myriad of write-offs etc.
Where’s the focus on this? Why is one group singled out while everyone else gets off the hook?
Why are poor/working class people seen as ‘other’ and therefore deserving of this level of scrutiny & only in the aforementioned places?
It’s very concerning and is part of a much wider problem across the Irish media which reinforces stereotypes about welfare, crime and taxation.
John Douglas of the Mandate trade union coined the phrase ‘Solidarity Payment’ for the so-called Christmas Bonus. He was right. That’s how all social welfare should be described.
A decent society should be proud of its publicly-funded safety net and those who need it shouldn’t be shamed.
P.S. It’s on. Paddy only met lone parents on this occasion. And is allowing himself to ask why they didn’t use contraception. And judging them for buying expensive toys for their children. My blood is now BOILING.
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