Placing citizenship centre-stage: Michael D's take on the debate and what's missing

22/08/2009

Michael D. Higgins' opinion piece in today's Irish Times is well worth a read, especially in view of recent debates here on social welfare, rent supplements and the minimum wage. He writes:

Missing from the debate so far is any concept of citizenship. Indeed, former taoiseach Bertie Ahern reduced the debate on citizenship to a debate on volunteering, important but not the same thing. This is quite extraordinary in a republic. It is regarded as radical and unacceptable by the conservatives who cheered on the property rackets to speak of social security, of a floor below which citizens would not be allowed to fall. After all, the most extensive interview given on our public service broadcaster by the leading banker/gambler who did the most damage to Ireland’s financial reputation called for cuts in social welfare. Yet citizenship is what we should now be discussing. The more socially-concerned elements of the public surely do not want a return of more of the same.

Read the full piece here.

Posted in: Democratic accountabilityInvestmentWelfareLabour market

Tagged with: Rent Supplementactive citizenshipWagessocial welfare

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