Niall received this email from a listener who is expressing frustration about their financial situation as middle-income earners and feeling that they are struggling while their brother-in-law and his partner appear to be living comfortably without working full-time.
Hi Niall I love listening to you on the radio and your new show on podcast during the day and I would love to subscribe and support you but honestly can’t afford it but I will someday. Can you please talk about the middle income earners on your show. It’s always about social welfare and the wealthy but what about the average worker on the average wage. Myself and my wife both work. WE have two children and would love another child but just can’t afford it. We work in the public sector and both have ok jobs. We earn just under 75k a year between us. We have a mortgage of 1600 ma month, childcare costs of 1400 a month ,. Between the cost of getting to work, our two bangers of a cars over 8 years old, energy bills, food and everything else we pay, we end up with nothing at the end of the month. WE live in a moderate 30 year old house we bought three years ago. Ill be honest we are struggling every month to pay our bills its getting really bad. In fact so bad that we are afraid to turn on the heat in the house. We haven’t had a holiday in over 4 years since the children were born as its just not affordable. Here is the part that gets me. My wife’s brother lives with his partner with three children and neither of them work. He is on disability for the last 7 years and there is nothing wrong with him. He claims he has a bad back but I can assure you he is perfectly fine. She’s got a really nice house from the council in a much nicer area than us, they have a newer car, they went to Tenerife this year with their kids. The best thing they spend the day with their kids and have all the time in the world. Here’s the crazy part. She gets free childcare for her youngest two part time as she told the social she is doing a nail course. In fact she signed up for it but she drops the kids off and goes to the gym. He told me himself he would never get into our situation and that he had been offered loads of jobs but it wouldn’t pay them to work as they are far better off living off the state and he does the odd nixer with a mate of his as an electrician. IM actually sick with jealousy and feel we would be better off unemployed in Ireland the way things are. The workers are paying for everything and getting nothing but stress. Can you please discuss this on your show.
Here’s a breakdown of some key points in the email:
Financial Struggles: The writer, who is part of a middle-income family, expresses their financial difficulties despite both spouses working in the public sector. They outline their monthly expenses, including childcare, mortgage, transportation, and bills, which leave them with little to no disposable income.
Desire for More Children: The writer wishes to have another child but feels they cannot afford it due to their financial situation.
Comparison to a Welfare Recipient: The writer contrasts their situation with that of their brother-in-law, who is on disability and appears to be living a more comfortable life with government support, including free childcare. They feel that their brother-in-law and partner may be taking advantage of the system.
Frustration and Jealousy: The writer expresses frustration and jealousy over the perceived disparity between those who work and those who receive government assistance. They claim that some individuals prefer to remain on welfare because they believe it provides a better quality of life than working.
Request for Discussion: The writer asks Niall to address this issue on his radio show, presumably to bring attention to the challenges middle-income earners face and the potential abuse of welfare programs.
This email highlights the complex and contentious issue of welfare and social support, as well as the challenges faced by middle-income families who often feel caught between high expenses and limited financial support. Niall and his callers may have discussed various aspects of this topic, including potential solutions or policy changes to address such disparities and encourage self-sufficiency.