Written Answers. - Back-to-Work Scheme.

Noel Ahern

Question:

112 Mr. N. Ahern asked the Minister for Social Welfare the number of back-to-work allowance payments approved for each years to date since the scheme was started; the number who dropped out; the number who completed the scheme; and if he will make a statement on the success or otherwise of the scheme. [3948/97]

The information requested by the Deputy is as follows:

Total Number of Claims Approved:

1993

240

1994

5,080

1995

7,126

1996

8,216

The scheme provides an allowance for up to three years at the rate of 75 per cent of the relevant social welfare payment for year one, 50 per cent for year two and 25 per cent for year three. A total of 237 persons have completed the scheme. A total of 4,914 have terminated during the course of the scheme.
The scheme has proved to be a very worthwhile initiative in encouraging the long-term unemployed to take up employment and self-employment. There are over 16,600 persons currently in receipt of the weekly allowance. An independent evaluation of the scheme has concluded that it has played a significant role in enabling long-term unemployed people to take up a job or become self-employed.