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Back to Education Allowance

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 6 October 2015

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Questions (173)

Michael Fitzmaurice


173. Deputy Michael Fitzmaurice asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Social Protection the number in receipt of the back to education allowance for the academic year 2014-2015 and the academic year 2015-2016; the total spend by the Government on the back to education allowance during both of these academic years; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [34348/15]

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Written answers (Question to Social)

The Back to Education Allowance provides income support for jobseekers and others in receipt of certain social welfare payments that pursue courses of education at second or third level. The objective of the scheme is to raise the educational and skill levels to enable jobseekers better access to the emerging needs of the labour market in line with Government activation strategy .

The number of person in receipt of the Back to Education Allowance for the academic year 2014-2015 was 23,366. For the academic year 2015-2016; the total number approved to the end of September for the BTEA is 13,239 with applications still being processed. It will be some weeks before the final data for the 2015/16 academic year is processed but I expect the number of persons to broadly similar to the previous year at around 23,000. Total spend on BTEA in 2014 was some €165 million. The provision for 2015 is just over €150 million.