We need to talk about equality. Senator David Norris turned on the rage for Newstalk listeners this morning. This time he was sticking up for the average Joe Taxpayer who is SICK and fucking TIRED of watching welfare scum piss away OUR “tax dollars” on fags and booze.
The Senator for Trinity College was first elected in 1987 and has remained in situ since then. His paltry stipend (from Joe Taxpayer) amounts to €65,000 per annum – plus a “Leader’s Allowance” of €23,000 on top of his University pension of some €2,500 per month. He retired from Trinity in 2009 having spent the previous 16 years on disability payments following his contracting a debilitating water-borne virus in 1994.
Norris on Newstalk:
“I hear people on the wireless saying ‘oh what about the poor people on social welfare, and they will be deprived of their few drinks”.
“I don’t spend my tax dollars to buy drinks for people on social welfare, I don’t think tax is for people to be drinking all the time. I see them all around my area buying slabs of drinks.”
But this kind of class warfare is nothing new. Reactionaries consistently push nanny-statism for the poor and liberty for the wealthy, the proles being too lumpen to know what’s good for ’em.
David Hulme addresses a similar proposal from Tory, Ian Duncan Smith:
Duncan-Smith is right – we need to “reach out to the margins of society that have been left behind for too long”. But there needs to be a serious focus on the steps of support that can actually help people out of poverty.
That means access to education, literacy, minimum wage, child care, and support around disabilities, illness and the multitude of complex needs that exist when you are at the margins of society.
This is what is provided by the more holistic social assistance schemes used in other countries. It will have a more far-reaching effect on lifting people out of poverty than a pre-paid card that denies them a fag.