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'Upskilling left me with nothing' says struggling artist

Published 13/10/2015

Taking a degree still left Rose Sinclair Doyle struggling with unemployment
Taking a degree still left Rose Sinclair Doyle struggling with unemployment

An artist left suicidal by the pressure of paying a mortgage and surviving on 58 euros a week has said she followed the Taoiseach's advice to upskill but was left with nothing.

Rose Sinclair Doyle, 45, from south Dublin, has battled depression for years and is struggling to break out of three years of unemployment during and after completing a degree.

She claimed today's budget did little for the less well-off and those aspiring to better themselves.

"I find it really frustrating that I have put all this time in, I took the Taoiseach's advice and I went back to upskill and put time into education and it has been a long struggle.

"A hundred and eighty eight-euros a week and trying to manage a mortgage and buying materials for college and trying to stay on top of things is a hard slog to be able to do.

"And at the end of it I am still finding trouble, not in getting a job but even in getting an internship, which is 50 euros more than the dole itself."

Social Protection Minister Joan Burton leads the government minority party Labour, which Ms Sinclair Doyle said she would never vote for at next year's election.

Ms Burton said the Budget had increased the momentum in helping jobseekers back to work. Community employment schemes will receive a top up payment of 2.50 euro per week towards meals and travel costs.

But Ms Sinclair Doyle, who has a daughter and two grandchildren living with her in a whitewashed terraced house in the Dublin suburb of Tallaght, said the poor who wanted to work had lost out in favour of the bankers who received a bail out.

"They have really let down all the lower income people on social welfare; they seem to think people on social welfare have no drive or pride in themselves and just collect welfare.

"If you talk to anyone in the area there are loads who avail of the courses that are available to try to get themselves back into the workforce to earn a decent wage.

"There is no initiatives for people trying to get started up and start businesses."

Her partner had left her to pay the mortgage on her own. The experience informed her artwork, which centred on the psychology of domestic violence and the marriage vow to obey.

She said Labour, which has claimed credit for a "remarkable turnaround" in Ireland's finances since the international bail out, had promised to work for those on lower incomes.

"Like most governments they have benefited themselves.

"If the Government is so worried about bailing out banks and what we owe to the EU why don't they take a pay cut and put some of their money back into the economy instead of picking on people on lower income?"

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