Written Answers. - Unemployment Assistance.


asked the Minister for Social Welfare if he will introduce a statutory right to a basic minimum level of unemployment assistance for all unemployed adults.

An unemployed person's entitlement to unemployment assistance is assessed according to his or her means and family circumstances. In any particular case the rate of assistance payable depends on the weekly means assessed. Where the weekly means exceed the maximum level of unemployment assistance, no assistance is payable.

The operation of the means test ensures that assistance is directed to people who are in greatest need and is an equitable way of directing scarce resources. There are no proposals to introduce a minimum level of unemployment assistance without reference to a person's means.