As a first step towards alleviating the poverty trap associated with the complete withdrawal of the qualified adult allowance once the earnings of the spouse or partners of the social welfare claimant exceeded £60 per week, regulations were introduced in November 1997 to provide for the tapered withdrawal of the qualified adult allowance for people claiming unemployment benefit, unemployment assistance, disability benefit, disability allowance, pre-retirement allowance, injury benefit and unemployability supplement.
Under the revised arrangements, where the spouse or partner is earning between £60 and £90, a reduced rate qualified adult allowance continues to be payable. In the 1999 budget, provision has been made to extend the upper limit of the income range from £90 to £105, in order to further enhance the incentive for people to avail of employment opportunities.
In seeking to alleviate the poverty trap caused by the withdrawal of the qualified adult allowance, priority has been given to those schemes where disincentives to employment are most prevalent.
The person concerned is in receipt of an old age (contributory) pension which is not amongst the schemes to which the revised arrangements apply.
Consideration will be given in the future to extending the arrangements governing the tapered withdrawal of the qualified adult allowance to cover other categories of welfare claimants.