Minister, we’re the ones who need a bailout
Interesting human interest piece, about a family on the margins, further effected by the budget. I do genuinely sympathise with these people. However I can’t help but think that they are atypical.
Modest house. Modest mortgage (for 2005). Nice to see that they chose to base the article on a relatively thrifty couple, and not the usual completely over stretched debt monkeys (one overpriced PPR and one ‘investment property’ two 08’ cars, foreign holidays etc) with a sickening sense of entitlement.
That said I can’t help but wonder where they found this couple? Are they respresentative of the average couple?
-Didn’t over stretch on the mortgage -rare enough and fair play to them.
-In their mid to late 30’s have 3 kids and don’t own a car -I find this almost incredible
-Thinks he can’t afford a car but yet spends €300 a month on buses -false economy if you ask me. How do you transport 3 small kids on public transport.
-Couple in their mid to late 30’s with a combined gross income of only €60k. At the risk of sounding elitist -this seems very low to me?
I just can’t help but think the paper have chosen an atypical couple living on the margin (who are undoubtedly seriously affected by the budget), and portayed them as being respresentative of the norm. Opinions?
On the income side, they would be exactly average, indeed a little bit above it I reckon. The average industrial wage is about 32k, I believe. Then you’d have to figue out the labour force participation rate to see what the average per adult is. I doubt you’ll find that the average person earns more than 30k a year.
It pisses me off that people in pretty much all of these types of articles seem to think that a holiday is a human right. People’s sense of entitlement has been driven so out of whack by the last few years that they think the current climate is real hardship. When you get to wondering where your next meal is coming from or where you are gonna have to sleep tonight then you can talk about hardship. How many people died of starvation today I wonder? A bit of perspective wouldn’t go astray. Apologies if this comes across as uncaring, I’ve had my fill of examples that only show what a crass, selfish, inward looking shower of greedy people we have become.
Jeez settle down - what’s wrong with wanting a yearly holiday.
When we were kids (70s) we hadn’t an awful lot - 1 low income family but we always had a yearly holiday. Granted it was only Butlins but we were kids and we loved it.
This couple aren’t asking for much more than that and why should anyone deny them that…because there are people starving in other parts of the world… get a grip Ray. Don’t tell me for one second that when you can afford it you deprive yourself of things you enjoy because there are people out there less well off than you.
I think they sound like a really nice caring couple - just giving an honest account of how the budget etc is affecting them. This thread has turned into an unnecessary bashing of a normal couple working hard and trying to make the best of life for their kids …
Mortgage repayment of €1,200 on €190,000. If it was a 100% mortgage, either they have it for 20 years at 4.5% or, more likely, they have a sub prime mortgage over 30 years at 6.5%. If they paid a 10% deposit, they would be paying 7.5% over 30 years.
It’s unfortunate that they realised that “the property market was about to fall on its face” but instead of renting, they decided to buy a cheaper place.
Rents in Drogheda for a 3 bed range from €650-€1,000. Some of the houses that rent for €700 are fairly nice.
Hi Johnny, this touches on a point we made here on many occasions in the past. There is no protection for the renter. Rents were rising in 2005 and if you have kids you want a bit of security and you want them to be able to enrole in a school that you won’t have to pull them out of if the landlord decides to give you a months notice. now it’s different, a landlord would bite your hand off for a 3 year contract. Just 4 years ago it was a different matter. I won’t go into the perception of renting.
I do feel sorry for couples like this and this is only the tip of the iceburg. As for the point about the holidays. We had a week in Kerry or West Cork when we were younger most years, a mobile home or a family B&B were all the kids would be thrown in together with the cousins. Great adventures. Looking back I think it makes a huge difference to a kid growing up and I’m sure the folks would just love to get into the car and get away from everything for a week. It’s not an entitlement but I think that’s very important for mental health for famillies trying to cope. From reading this they don’t seem to be looking for entitlements but instead face an uncertain future looking at their hands and asking “what did we do wrong?”. The thing is by next Christmas we’ll have 200K families saying that.
I don’t want to be too harsh on this particular couple but if you are willing to be interviewed for a national newspaper then you have signed up for the possibility of criticism.
My problem is that practically everybody who is interviewed about hardship uses the possibility of not having a holiday as one example of hardship. Jebus, I have great sympathy for a lot of the people featured but some of their examples of hardship are crazy.
I should point out that I didn’t have any holidays growing up, not that I’m bitter or anything
I didn’t think there was any great sense of entitlement from this couple. Quite the opposite.
What struck me from the article, was, what I perceived to be a relatively low income given their age -although the numbers given on that front don’t quite seem to add up as discussed above. I do empathise with these people, and I’m sure they will be put under very real strain by the budget.
However on the car front, I can’t help but think that they are acting the martyr to their situation i.e. by not having a car. On a 60 to 70k joint income, the purchase and runing of a basic, reliable 2nd hand car is easily achievable. Considering he is paying €300 a month on buses just to get to work ( which seems very excessive to me). What about other transport -the weekly shopping, visiting friends and relations etc. Transporting three young kids along with their paraphernalia on public transport is not a task I would undertake. I just simply can’t understand how a modern 5 person family with 3 young kids functions in Ireland of the 21st century without a car?
Interesting…that couple could be us (joint income 62k, no car, mid-30s) except we have 2 kids rather than 3, and our rent is slightly higher than their mortgage payment. Perhaps internet BBs are rather skewed towards high earners and it can distort the sense of what is ‘average’ - I’ve heard a family income of 100k described as ‘average’ here for example, which surprised me. I found Joan Burton’s ‘average family’ of a Garda with four kids and a stay at home wife and a 1500 a month mortgage more odd, to be honest…Perhaps everyone thinks they’re average.
I think what tips the Condras over the edge is childcare, and it’s families like this who have been savaged by the last Budget. They’re in a terrible catch-22 of not being able to survive on one average income (circa 35k) and not able to pay for childcare because it’s so eye-wateringly expensive. The ECS and child benefit helped families like this (yeah, I’ll use that hoary chestnut “hard working families”) to scrape by, but they’ve been shafted.
I’m intrigued. Is the lack of a car a financial (we can’t offord, or do not see the value in having a car?) or a lifestyle (we want to save the planet) decision. Tell me to go away if I am being too personal on that front. How do you manage the logistics of transporting 4 people? I just can’t get my head around it. I guess it’s easier if you live in the city, but even still.
It’s just that we never needed one, as work/school/childminder are all within handy walk/cycling distance or a 10 minute DART journey away. I realise public transport is so rubbish in a lot of Dublin/commuter zones and not everyone can do this - it’s actually an advantage of renting as we’re not stuck out in the middle of Legoland without public transport. Also, my older kid is almost a teenager and well able to get the bus/DART by himself. It’d be tricky if you had three kids under three I’d imagine.
We’re going to bite the bullet soon as we’re finding the second kid a deal breaker, I must admit, and it’ll be really nice for Sunday trips and large supermarket shops. But really. It is possible to live without a car
I saw an article years ago about a family who agreed to live car-free for a month I think it was. And like yourself they found it was much more doable than a lot of people think. Except for the weekly shop. I have a car and like yourself I live so close to the city centre that I don’t need it at all as much as I did when I lived in Kildare. But the one thing I use it for all the time is shopping. I can’t imagine shopping without the convenience of the car to haul it back in. And I don’t have any children. So I can’t wrap my head around the idea of doing a weekly shop for a family with children without a car to haul it all home in. And I’m genuinely curious - how do you manage it?
Monthly online shop on Tesco.ie for bulky heavy things like tins, nappies, big bag of spuds, catfood, loo roll, and the handful of things that aren’t good in Aldi/Lidl like coffee and laundry powder.
Every other week I walk to the local butchers on Saturday to stock up on meat for the freezer - I bring the buggy and a large bag. I work near a nice fishmongers so sometimes pick up something there at lunchtime.
Which just leaves a weekly trip to Aldi on my way home from work for veg, fruit and cheese mostly - I bring a rucksack and a couple of bags and get the bus home.
Like I said, it really isn’t bad but you have to be reasonably organised. I’ve got my eye on that Recession Bus Tours guy, he’s started arranging online shopping in Asda which I’m sure is deeply dodgy on some level but I’m tempted!
Car can be rented when needed, that is one of things that are very cheap in Ireland. Before recession you could get Ford Mondeo or VW Passat for 23 euro/day, but now 15E is possible if you are lucky. One-way rental fees are usually not charged on 3+ days rentals, price includes insurance and is clean. They overcharge on child seats and GPS, so if you plan renting a car for more that 2-3 days per year buy one.