Sir, - As someone who once fell victim to non optional unemployment, I have often been critical of the low social welfare increases of successive budgets. This has even brought me into an exchange of views in the letters pages of newspapers with the Minister for Social Welfare, Mr De Rossa. This year, however, I find it difficult to be angry with either Minister De Rossa or Quinn.

While the modest social welfare increase won't set the world on fire, the well thought out re employment strategy for the long term unemployed is welcome. The over 35s, and hopefully the over 45s, will now be looked at more kindly by employers also.

Maybe I am a mellowing socialist, or the admirable conduct of both Mr Quinn and Mr De Rossa in the divorce campaign means that they deserve some words of praise. The fact that they did not falter in their determination to drag us into the 20th century was evidenced by the strong workingclass/unemployed endorsement of their stance.

So, Mr De Rossa, if you find yourself on vacation in the Bantry area again this summer, and if we once again bump trolleys in the supermarket, you may even feel comfortable enough to invite me to coffee! Yours, etc.,

Glengarriff Road,


Co Cork.