asked the Minister for Labour if he will amend the enterprise allowance scheme to allow those who had already commenced small businesses prior to the announcement of the scheme, to now avail of the scheme; and if he will consider how this affects a person (details supplied) in County Meath.
Written Answers. - Enterprise Allowance Scheme.
The enterprise allowance scheme was introduced on 19 December 1983 to encourage unemployed persons in receipt of unemployment payments to set up enterprises. Persons who had set up enterprises prior to the commencement date did so without any expectation of getting the type of assistance now available through the enterprise allowance scheme.
The individual in question set up his business in May 1983, over six months before the enterprise scheme was introduced. If an exception were made in his case, persons who had set up enterprises at any time before the commencement date could also make a case to be admitted to the scheme.
In the circumstances, I consider that the most equitable way of administering the scheme is to apply the conditions, including the commencement date, to all applicants and to admit to the scheme only those who satisfy the necessary conditions at the date of application. I regret, therefore, that I cannot agree to this person's admission to the scheme.