How does a family live on €204 per week?


You’ll be catching me out by asking me the price of a pint of milk next… :blush:

Fuel allowance is €20 a week from September to May

There’s also the Smokeless Fuel Allowance which is €3.90 a week

These would be “long term unemployed” payments. I never did understand why you get more payments if you stay unemployed a long time.

Social housing has become residualised in Ireland, in that it is now very hard to get unless you’re on welfare. That is part of the problem – other countries have more of a mix – I once sublet a local authority flat in Germany in an immaculate well-kept neighbourhood and it was a joy to live in; I can’t imagine its equivalent here. I don’t know the answer to this difficult question (I think it was Sharper who said it on a thread about education recently re people signing on for a year so they get their college fees paid) – how do you help people without creating a situation where people deliberately render themselves helpless in order to be helped?

I know some of the origins of the problem are structural. When much of the social housing stock in Ireland was sold off, the remainder was left to those who were hit badly by the last recession, and some of those people are now third generation unemployed and chronically welfare-dependent. Rent allowance was initially aimed at those on the housing lists to alleviate overcrowding and enable them to rent privately. The bill for that spiralled wildly out of control and distorted the housing market as has been widely discussed here, and negatively affected everyone else who rented. Welfare rates went up and up in the last decade, bewildering in retrospect during a period of full employment and high immigration. So you’ve now got a situation where most people are better off on the dole at a time when the country is broke. I just did a quick calculation there and our family would be better off on the dole than we are now (me earning sub 40k and Mr P on JSB, soon to run out) – how is that possible?!

When it was worthwhile for people to fly from Eastern Europe to come back here and claim the dole/benefits you know too much money is available. They’ve now made it more difficult to do this and have ‘plugged’ that hole… however, they haven’t addressed the amount of money being paid out… the only people who’ve been badly affected are the claimers taking the piss, Michael O’Leary and the folks at Easyjet.

Maybe the answer to this tread title is “Quite comfortably”, at least for those getting all benefits.

you should be able to go to a pharmacist - say i have a sore throat and get antibiotics for it without having to go near a doctor

Here’s a question, why hasn’t some enterprising GP come up with a “basic coverage” scheme.
For say E150 per adult you get as many visits as you need in a year. E500 for a family.
I haven’t been to the GP in two years, but I’d still pay it.

Because they’re making loads of money in the status quo.

All you’d get then is the Pharmacists charging a “consultation fee” of, oh let me see, say €50?

As well as the antibiotics you’ll also need some post-biotics, sure you’ll be run down after your infection. Maybe a vitamin supplement for a bit of a pick-me-up. In total that’ll be €150 please. What’s that?? Can’t talk with the sore throat?? No problem sir, just pop the money on the counter. NEXT!!

Rubbish. Works well in Spain.

Wait for Tesco Pharmacy to open.

To be fair, I think hypochondriacs would bankrupt them. But some sort limit like “for up to 10 visits” would be ok. Although I may be tempted to “use up” the last few come the end of the year.

Health insurers are offering this now

50 euro per GP visit up to 20 per year (I think)

I only pay my GP 60 euro, how much do I need to pay for this insurance add on? I guess it is something like VHI healthsteps?

That would be against the law. You cannot get antibiotics (and a whole range of other things) without prescription.

edit: Sorry, I misread it as “you should go to a pharmacist”

Yes, I agree with you. Just like any other normal country!

It’s a nation of full on insane self flagellating masochists, deal with it!

I’d have to pay €60 to get the GP to give me something to treat the welts…

I pay income tax, PRSI, and a Health Levy.
I pay private health insurance.
And I still have to pay €50 if I want to see my GP.
(actually the nearest GP is €60)

I can’t remember the exact details of the GP cover that was available
when I last renewed the Health Insurance, but it wasn’t worth it. When I took the Excess etc into account, and the actual amount I’d get back.

I’ll look again, but I don’t hold much hope.

I’m not in the worst situation. Those who are on permanent medication and have to pay just to have the prescription renewed are royaly screwed over.

There’s a Combined Care scheme for Pregnancy that allows any woman free GP care during her pregnancy for pregnancy related issues. We went in recently to sign up. You have to pay €50 for the initial visit where you fill in the form. We don’t even want to bother with the 5 or 6 checkups that are offered, we’re happy with the consultant. We just want to be covered in case Mrs daltonr needs to go to the GP or needs Medication etc.

On another forum that scheme was discussed. A woman on one of her pregnancy checkups with the GP asked about dry itchy fingers. Something that can occur during pregnancy. GP told her to use moisturiser that it was caused by the pregnancy.

When the checkup was over she was asked for €50 because she had asked a question about her fingers. I think that example made it on to Joe Duffy’s show.

So a scheme which is supposed to give support to pregnant women and let them check on any issues is run in such a way that women are afraid to ask even pregnancy related questions in case they get billed.

It’s not clear whether the doctor in question would have pocketed both the €50 AND a payment from the HSE.

I would love to find out what it would cost to buy a scheme equivalent to the medical card from an insurance company.


I didn’t say it was a bad idea, but you have been to Ireland I take it?? We do things different round here.

How do you know you have an infection? You don’t. When you feel down or even if you have full blown flu antibiotics are ineffective.


Not hangovers. Not headaches. Not “feeling a bit under the weather”. Why in the name of all that is sacred do people want so badly to get their hands on antibiotics. Try and convince yourself lemsip is an antibiotic. The placebo effect will be just as good.

if you don’t know what an antibiotic is, why you take it and what it treats, you shouldn’t be allowed have one. Seeing as this pertains to 99.99% of the population they should only be given after a diagnosed infection.

Antibiotics are the only answer to serious infections. Handing them over to any idiot with a headache is the most ridiculous thing you could do.

It’s that Irish sense of entitlement. By the way, in the public sector, we get all the antibiotics we want!!!

Mwahahahaha! :nin