Budget 2014

Questions (178)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

178. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Social Protection if she will ensure the back to education allowance is not cut in budget 2014; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [41304/13]

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Written answers (Question to Social)

The Revised Estimates for the Department provide for expenditure of over €189 million in 2013 on back to education allowance in relation to an estimated 23,350 recipients. The Deputy will be aware that the Expenditure Report 2013 published by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform last December provides for additional new expenditure reduction measures of €440 million to be achieved in 2014 in the Department of Social Protection budget. The Government will shortly finalise its consideration of the Budget having regard to all of its commitments, including the commitment in the Programme for Government to maintain primary weekly welfare rates. The outcome of this process will be announced on Budget Day.

Social Insurance Yield

Questions (179, 180, 181)

Michael McGrath

Question:

179. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Social Protection the yield that would be achieved from increasing employer's PRSI to 12%, 13%, 14% and 15%, respectively, for the portion of salary over €100,000; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [41366/13]

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Michael McGrath

Question:

180. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Social Protection the yield that would be achieved from increasing employer's PRSI to 12%, 13%, 14% and 15%, respectively, for the portion of salary over €125,000; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [41367/13]

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Michael McGrath

Question:

181. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Social Protection the yield that would be achieved from increasing employer's PRSI to 12%, 13%, 14% and 15%, respectively, for the portion of salary over €150,000; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [41368/13]

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Written answers (Question to Social)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 179 to 181, inclusive, together.

The table below gives the estimated yield that would be achieved from increasing Employer PRSI from 10.75% to 12%, 13%, 14% and 15% respectively. The percentage increases in Employer PRSI are applied to income in excess of the thresholds specified by the Deputy.

Threshold for higher Employer PRSI

Rate of Employer PRSI

Cost/Yield

No. of Employments

-

-

(€000)

-

€100,000

*12%

29,785

41,160

€100,000

*13%

53,614

41,160

€100,000

*14%

77,442

41,160

€100,000

*15%

101,270

41,160

€125,000

*12%

21,137

24,710

€125,000

*13%

38,047

24,710

€125,000

*14%

54,957

24,710

€125,000

*15%

71,867

24,710

€150,000

*12%

15,874

16,590

€150,000

*13%

28,573

16,590

€150,000

*14%

41,272

16,590

€150,000

*15%

53,972

16,590

*The National Training Fund Levy of 0.70% is included in the contribution.

Jobseeker's Allowance Appeals

Questions (182)

Eric J. Byrne

Question:

182. Deputy Eric Byrne asked the Minister for Social Protection the rationale behind a decision not to award a payment to a person (details supplied); if this decision may be reviewed; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [41235/13]

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Written answers (Question to Social)

The person concerned had been receiving Jobseeker’s Benefit until 20 July 2013. His claim was then examined to determine his entitlement to Jobseeker’s Allowance. This is a means-tested payment. His wife is in employment and after applying the relevant criteria to her income she is deemed to be earning in excess of the amount permitted under legislation. This decision has been appealed but no decision has yet been made by the Appeals Office.

Disability Allowance Appeals

Questions (183)

Michelle Mulherin

Question:

183. Deputy Michelle Mulherin asked the Minister for Social Protection the position regarding a disability allowance appeal in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Mayo; if same can be expedited; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [41236/13]

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Written answers (Question to Social)

The Social Welfare Appeals Office has advised me that an appeal by the person concerned was registered in that office on 12 July 2013. It is a statutory requirement of the appeals process that the relevant papers and comments by or on behalf of the Deciding Officer on the grounds of appeal be sought from the Department of Social Protection. These papers have been received in the Social Welfare Appeals Office and the case will be referred to an Appeals Officer who will make a summary decision on the appeal based on documentary evidence presented or, if required, hold an oral hearing. The Social Welfare Appeals Office functions independently of the Minister for Social Protection and of the Department and is responsible for determining appeals against decisions in relation to social welfare entitlements.

Carer's Allowance Appeals

Questions (184)

Noel Coonan

Question:

184. Deputy Noel Coonan asked the Minister for Social Protection when a decision on a carer's allowance appeal will issue in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Tipperary; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [41248/13]

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Written answers (Question to Social)

The Social Welfare Appeals Office has advised me that an appeal by the person concerned was registered in that office on 29 July 2013. It is a statutory requirement of the appeals process that the relevant Departmental papers and comments by the Deciding Officer on the grounds of appeal be sought. When these have been received from the Department, the case in question will be referred to an Appeals Officer who will make a summary decision on the appeal based on the documentary evidence presented or, if required, hold an oral appeal hearing. The Social Welfare Appeals Office functions independently of the Minister for Social Protection and of the Department and is responsible for determining appeals against decisions in relation to social welfare entitlements.

National Internship Scheme Administration

Questions (185, 186, 187, 188)

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Question:

185. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Social Protection the number of meetings of the JobBridge steering group to date; if she will provide a breakdown of all costs associated with the steering group including any remuneration or allowances received by non-civil servant members of the group. [41255/13]

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Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Question:

186. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Social Protection further to Parliamentary Question Nos. 101, 107 and 108 on 25 September 2013, in which she advised that 63% of all internships are completed early due to the intern securing paid employment, the proportion of these who entered full-time employment and how many entered permanent, fixed-term or zero hour contract posts, respectively; if such data are collated, and, if not, if she will make arrangements to do so in future. [41256/13]

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Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Question:

187. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Social Protection further to Parliamentary Questions Nos. 101, 107 and 108 of 25 September 2013, the number of interns who finished early and returned to education, went back to receiving jobseeker's allowance or another social welfare payment or emigrated. [41257/13]

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Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Question:

188. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Social Protection the number of hours the 21,000 participants on JobBridge have worked to date; the total cost of JobBridge to the State so far; and if she will provide a breakdown of same. [41258/13]

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Written answers (Question to Social)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 185 to 188, inclusive, together.

The JobBridge National Steering Committee met 6 times in 2013; 7 times in 2012 and 6 times in 2011. The participation of members of the National Steering Committee is not remunerated. They receive no allowances to cover expenses. The meetings are generally held in the Department of Social Protection’s premises. There has been no venue costs to-date. €25.50 has been spent on catering for meetings over the period 2012-2013.

In relation to the status of employment secured since completing their internship, the Indecon report stated the following:

- 45.2% progressed into full-time, permanent employment

- 9.3% progressed into part-time, permanent employment

- 35.0% progressed into full-time, temporary employment

- 10.5% progressed into part-time, temporary employment

The total number of finishers to-date is 15,686. At the time of completing their internship, a total of 638 individuals went into further education or training, of whom 500 finished early. A total of 233 individuals emigrated, of whom 198 finished early, and a total of 2,563 returned to job search, that is, to receipt of a relevant Social Welfare payment, of whom 371 finished early. Of the total number of finishers to-date, the largest category of progression outcome was into paid employment.

JobBridge interns are required to work for between 30 and 40 hours per week. Within those limits, the hours worked by each individual intern are a matter for the host organisation in agreement with the intern. The total cost of the top-up allowances since Scheme inception in July 2011 has been €22.5m.

The Indecon Report found that even using conservative assumptions for deadweight and for social welfare payments, JobBridge achieves a net benefit to the Exchequer provided that those who have secured jobs remain in employment on average for 5.5 months. If participants remain in employment for one year or more, the net benefits increase significantly.