Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Questions (116)

Denis Naughten

Question:

116. Deputy Denis Naughten asked the Minister for Social Protection the steps she is taking to increase the uptake of family income supplement; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [24202/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Social)

Family income supplement (FIS) is an employee incentive scheme for low-income working families, including one-parent families, aimed at supporting them through supplementing their income while they remain in work. There has been a steady growth both in the number of families supported by FIS over recent years and associated expenditure as set out in the table. Expenditure on the FIS scheme is estimated to be €281.7 million in 2014, up €20 million on 2013.

Year

Number in payment (approx.)

Expenditure (€ Millions)

2011

28,875

204.5

2012

32,310

223.6

2013

44,160

261.5 (provisional)

The Department avails of every opportunity in its engagement with employers and jobseekers to build awareness of the availability of FIS and how this payment may benefit potential employees with children. The increasing numbers of families in receipt of FIS is testament to the effectiveness of the Department’s information strategy for the scheme and the significant improvements in customer service and processing times for FIS customers.

The Departments web site www.welfare.ie has full information on the FIS scheme and provides typical family scenarios to aid understanding and provide comparisons. This information is also available in all the Department local offices, CICs and information offices.

In addition a series of road-shows have also been held around the country designed to inform employers about the wide range of employment support services provided by the Department, including FIS. Case Officers in each locality will specifically use FIS as an incentive to move people from the long-term Live Register to employment.

Furthermore, the Department launched a Benefit of Work ready reckoner in December last year. The ready reckoner gives an indication of the difference between a person’s potential in-work payment, including FIS, and current out-of-work payments.

The Department will shortly be launching a poster campaign in its Intreo centres and local offices to further promote FIS.

In conclusion, I am satisfied that the FIS scheme is being promoted and evidence shows that it is fulfilling its role in assisting employees to take up employment opportunities and to remain at work.