Written Answers. - Student Summer Jobs Scheme.

Tony Killeen

Question:

171 Mr. Killeen asked the Minister for Social Welfare if the maximum level of income for children of unemployed parents under the student summer jobs scheme has been reduced. [8842/96]

Dermot Ahern

Question:

183 Mr. D. Ahern asked the Minister for Social Welfare whether a decision has been made to withdraw an extra allowance of £200 which was made payable to students under the student summer job scheme whose parents were solely reliant on State benefit as a source of income; and, if so, the reason therefor. [8652/96]

Seán Haughey

Question:

185 Mr. Haughey asked the Minister for Social Welfare the plans, if any, he has to restore the extra allowance of £200 made payable in 1985 to students whose parents were solely reliant on State benefit as a source of income under the 1996 student summer jobs scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8747/96]

Rory O'Hanlon

Question:

186 Dr. O'Hanlon asked the Minister for Social Welfare the reason there is no increase in the allowance under the student summer job scheme announced by his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8748/96]

Brendan Smith

Question:

187 Mr. B. Smith asked the Minister for Social Welfare the plans, if any, he has to reintroduce the additional allowance payable to students participating in the student summer jobs scheme whose parents are totally reliant on payments from his Department as their sole income; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8755/96]

It is proposed to take Questions Nos. 171, 183, 185, 186 and 187 together.

The students summer jobs scheme was a major success last year and proved to be of significant benefit to local communities and voluntary groups.

Many valuable projects were undertaken by students which would otherwise not have been carried out. The students also gained valuable work experience and are generally pleased with the scheme.
The underlying purpose of the scheme is to provide income support for the less well-off third level students who are disqualified from receiving unemployment assistance and are unable to obtain summer work.
The hourly rate of pay was increased by me last year to £3 and this increased rate will be paid again this year. This will enable those eligible to earn up to £600. A survey of 400 student participants, carried out by my Department last year, showed that: most students were satisfied with the basic rate of pay; some students felt that it was unfair to have two rates of pay applying to the same work; many took up the option of engaging in other part-time work, which is allowed under the scheme.
Taking account of the upward trend in student participation each year in the scheme since its inception in 1993, priority this year is being given to enabling the maximum number of eligible students to take part within the £10.1 million allocation. The allocation for 1995 was £6.3 million while the allocation for 1994 was £3 million.