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Should Ireland reform welfare along the lines of the Swiss model?


pragmaticapproach

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This would of course be a longer term reform which could not be implemented overnight, but the idea of devolving the responsibility for welfare provision down to as local a level as possible is one I find appealing, since it would ensure a much greater level of efficiency and accountability with competitive pressures from other counties ensuring a tight fiscal leash is maintained. This would obviously require directly accountable local governments with a minimal of interference from national government.

Swiss welfare runs like clockwork » The Spectator

So what happens if you are, say, a young mother in Switzerland with a little baby but no husband or similar on the scene and nowhere to live? There is no countrywide answer to this question because it is not dealt with on a national basis. It is not even dealt with by one of the 26 cantons. It is dealt with by your local commune. There are 2,900 of these and their population can be anything from 30 to 10,000 or more.
 

Mackers

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Are you Swiss?

Cuckoo cuckoo. :D
 

pragmaticapproach

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hammer

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"Officials from this ultra-small local government will come and investigate your individual circumstances. The father will be expected to pay. The mother’s family, if it is in a position to, will be expected to house and pay for her. As a last resort, the young mother will be given assistance by the commune. But the people who pay the local commune taxes will be paying part of the cost. You can imagine that they will not be thrilled at paying for a birth or separation that need never have taken place. Putting yourself in the position of the mother — and perhaps the father — you can imagine that you will be embarrassed as you pass people in the street who are paying for your baby. Instead of feeling you have impersonal legal rights, as in Britain, you are taking money from people you might meet at your local café. No wonder unmarried parenting is less common."
 

Tweek

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This isn't a Germanic country with properly run local governments *or* people having a proper sense of community. There would be situations where people in one county are literally dying in freezing hovels whilst across a river they have proper social housing, for instance; and the whole (not particularly well based) concept of "shame them in to getting off welfare" won't work when people view it as an entitlement.

How you fix local government - feck knows; how you stop people viewing welfare as an entitlement with no responsibilities - not by having the local authority give it to them anyway

Parts of what they do, we need to copy; but the overall system - no thanks.
 

Kitty O'Shea

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you do know that there are reforms of the social welfare system currently underfoot. I also assume you know that is what the cut in carers' allowance is to pay for; refurbishment of dole offices re one of the many DSP plans to get folks off the live register and onto one of the many back to work scams. Slightly better, if a paying job regardless of suitability or emigrate.
Ireland's government is neither interested or competent of reaching a fraction of Switzerland's efficiency.
 

greengoose2

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But we are happy and the craic is great. Boring Swiss (Black Forest) cuckoo clocks and Gruyere cheese with holes, not forgetting Nazi gold nor Nestle feeding black women's offspring powdered milk. Disgusting! Chocolate box scenery not rivalling the wet murky wesht of Ireland which is only appreciated by the foreigners anyway!
 

southwestkerry

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Current Irish government models for everything from welfare to health and all in between goes along the following line... 'what ever model is on hand well do ta very much, as long as its cheap and cheerful and keeps folk off the streets'
SwK
PS I know welfare and health are not cheap but compared to mass unrest... political careers ending and etc.
 

The Owl

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But we are happy and the craic is great. Boring Swiss (Black Forest) cuckoo clocks and Gruyere cheese with holes, not forgetting Nazi gold nor Nestle feeding black women's offspring powdered milk. Disgusting! Chocolate box scenery not rivalling the wet murky wesht of Ireland which is only appreciated by the foreigners anyway!
And they all go to bed at 9pm. And that's the adults.
 

Merovingian

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Current Irish government models for everything from welfare to health and all in between goes along the following line... 'what ever model is on hand well do ta very much, as long as its cheap and cheerful and keeps folk off the streets'
SwK
PS I know welfare and health are not cheap but compared to mass unrest... political careers ending and etc.
Social Welfare is the Opium of the People. Essential in short periods of distress, crippling in dependency.
 

pragmaticapproach

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This isn't a Germanic country with properly run local governments *or* people having a proper sense of community. There would be situations where people in one county are literally dying in freezing hovels whilst across a river they have proper social housing, for instance; and the whole (not particularly well based) concept of "shame them in to getting off welfare" won't work when people view it as an entitlement.

How you fix local government - feck knows; how you stop people viewing welfare as an entitlement with no responsibilities - not by having the local authority give it to them anyway

Parts of what they do, we need to copy; but the overall system - no thanks.
Then you make local government accountable with a locally elected mayor and abolish the department of enviroment and local government.
Also I am not suggesting this could be achieved overnight, and I havent ruled out the possibility of earmarks in the early stages.

If I was elected a Mayor of a local government in such a scenario I would contract out the responsibility to a private agency and ensure it was a targeted safety net rather than a system of universal entitlements.
 

pragmaticapproach

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Social Welfare is the Opium of the People. Essential in short periods of distress, crippling in dependency.
And worse, once new entitlements are introduced these policies become practically impossible to reverse. It'll take years to reform our welfare system, thats assuming reforms are even decided on and followed through, which in itself seems unlikely.
 

The Owl

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You're lucky they didn't call the cops. In Lausanne I was putting me rubbish into the bin shute at 11pm and I think the whole block of apartments rang the cops. And they came. "It is against ze law".
 
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