People waiting in line for welfare in Ireland

An unemployed married couple from Bosnia, with four children, is taking home over $121,000 (€90,000) per year in welfare checks.

The couple, who live in Dublin, takes home $2,385 (€1,763) per week.

Labour Party Senator Jimmy Harte has called for a cap on the amount of social welfare payments a family can receive.  Harte received the information about this family from the Department of Social Protection officials. He says that $68,000 (€50,000) is more than enough for one family per year.

Harte said "The family are doing nothing illegal but the system is wrong when a couple are able to receive €90,000 [$121,000] per year for doing nothing. I don't think this sort of payment is acceptable in the good times, never mind the bad times we find ourselves in now.
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"There are married couples in this country with two good jobs, working very hard and are not receiving anything like this.

"As well as receiving €90,000 [$121,000] , they will not have to pay property tax or water charges. That is just wrong.

"You would need to be earning close to €140,000 [$190,000] to take that sort of money home after tax.

He added "This is a Dublin-based family but I know there are families in other counties receiving up to €85,000 [$115,000]. They won't take in as much in rent allowance but they are still entitled to all the other payments."

Harte has now sent this information to Joan Bruton, the Irish Minister for Social Protection.

He explained that he holds no personal grudge against the family. However, he wants a “root and branch” search of all families on social welfare and calls for a cap on the amount of payments they can receive.

The Department of Social Protection’s figures are as follows:

~ Father’s disability allowance —  $ 435.65 (€322)
~ Guardian’s pension for child taken in —  $386.95 (€286)
~ Rent supplement — $373.42 (€276)
~ Mother’s carer’s allowance — $514 (€380 )
~ Child benefit — $389.69 (€288)
~ Daughter (17 years) special needs — $285 (€211)