Tuesday, 27 January 2004

Questions (902)

Michael Ring

Question:

1023 Mr. Ring asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs the regulations she signed in relation to the recent announcement of the 16 cutbacks. [1365/04]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Family)

The following regulations were made in connection with my recent announcement regarding adjustments to the social welfare code: Statutory Instruments: S.I. 696 of 2003 — effective from 19 January 2004, discontinuing the transitional half-rate payment for lone parents where a recipient of one-parent family payment takes up employment and his or her earnings are in excess of €293 per week; S.I. 725 of 2003 — effective from first week January 2004, increasing the weekly earnings threshold for the purposes of payment of reduced rates of disability benefit and unemployment benefit from €88.88 to €150; S.I. 727 of 2003 — effective from 5 January 2004, increasing the minimum weekly contribution recipients of supplementary welfare allowance rent supplement are required to make towards their accommodation by €1; S.I. 727 of 2003 — effective from 1 January, 2004, increasing the amount of diet supplement paid to €44 and, in relation to certain diets, to €57; S.I. 728 of 2003 — effective from 31 January 2004, enabling health boards to refuse rent supplement in cases where the applicant has not already been renting for six months, with provisions for exceptions in relation to homeless people and other vulnerable groups, and providing for referral of claimants for rent supplement to the local authority for an assessment of housing need and providing that rent supplement will no longer be paid to people who have not accepted a second offer of local authority accommodation within a continuous 12 month period or who leave local authority accommodation without good cause; and S.I. 17 of 2004 — effective from 19 January 2004, discontinuing, for new claimants, entitlement to half-rate disability benefit and other benefits where the recipient is in receipt of widow's/widower's pension or one-parent family payment.

The remaining adjustments to the social welfare code were either made by amending legislation in the Social Welfare Act 2003 or do not require legislative amendments.