The morning after the budget is a very dark one indeed. Living in a council estate – everyone will be badly affected around me. Although our houses were finished in 2002, they have only one fireplace for heat and warm water, the insulation is just above non-existing, the state of doors, windows, the amount of gaps and cracks and the overall use of substandard material has left these houses prone to drafts and leaks and any improvement of these conditions has to be financed by us, the tenants. There won’t be much improvement for some time to come. Many of my neighbours have young children and if I ever thought that bringing up my son as a single parent was hard, I would need to seriously reconsider such conclusion. Ireland today is neither the place nor the time to bring up children or into this world. The hardship put upon families evokes images and in some memories of times long gone. Each generation tries to improve themselves and to provide a better future for their children. Now it seems that all we have done created floods and draughts while keeping the few powerful safe and sound during our very short-lived illusion of betterment.
I will see if it possible to organise shopping trips to Derry to share the cost of petrol and to get a weekly supply of daily items which are cheaper across the border. I have no doubt in my mind that many will do the same. As a result the government will not be able to squeeze the expected amount of money from its ill-conceived attempt and unable to take money from the rich and its own over-bulging apparatus, matter will worsen and it will become a question of time, when fundamental changes have to occur. Irish endurance of not enough to live and too much to die poverty may not what it used to be.
Here comes my first rough calculation of my own financial situation:
Single parent, one child in third level education
|Monthly wage p/t.||€ 775|
|FIS (not confirmed or received yet) weekly||€ 53 (?)|
|Lone parent||€ 0|
|Monthly repayment of bank loan for craft shop (closed due to lack of customers)||€ 228.46|
|Weekly rent||€ 29|
|Last bi-monthly ESB bill||€ 90|
|Last bi-monthly Eircom bill||€ 123.85|
|1% levy on monthly income||€ 7.75|
Weekly income: € 244.81
Weekly outgoings: € 112.85
Leaving me with € 131.96 so far. TV license, road tax, car insurance, heating costs and petrol are not included. All on the increase and there is more to come. I belief it would give me a very optimistically € 80 for daily items per week, which means a daily spending spree of around € 11.43. From it I also would need to save € 1500 for my sons registration fee for next years course. Supporting him financially with even a very small supplement per week or month is out of the question, leaving him fending for himself. There is no scope for a much needed dentist appointment nor at the hairdresser, never mind such fancy things like birthdays or christmas.
With no disposable income around and people holding tight on to the little money left, there is no hope of generating additional income in some other way for myself and I can only hope to stay in employment.
It is of no comfort nor assistance to be informed that we all have to bleed, when obviously some are left bleeding out while others barely trickle. Worryingly, the latter made us pay all along, so they don’t have to, even for their mistakes and their greed.