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Social Welfare Benefits Data

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 7 November 2017

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Questions (1191)

Catherine Connolly

Question:

1191. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the number of applications received in relation to the artist's social welfare pilot scheme; the number of persons in receipt of welfare payments in respect of the scheme; the number of applications refused; the reasons therefor; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [45833/17]

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Written answers (Question to Employment)

The jobseeker's benefit and jobseeker’s allowance schemes provide income support for people who have lost work and are unable to find alternative full-time employment. The 2017 Estimates for the Department provide for expenditure this year on the jobseekers’ schemes of €2.5 billion.

It is accepted that periods of unemployment are a normal feature of the acting and artistic professions and people in these professions can qualify for a jobseeker’s payment when they are unemployed. The pilot initiative, which is a key commitment under the Creative Ireland Programme, assists self-employed visual artists and writers who apply to the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection for jobseekers allowance.

Applicants must satisfy all of the usual qualifying conditions for jobseeker’s allowance. Under this new mechanism, the Department provides for the classification of self-employed professional artists and writers who are then not subject to the activation process for 12 months.

At the end of September 2017 there were 13 people in receipt of jobseeker allowance who have availed of the initiative. There are a number of reasons why any applicant might not qualify for jobseeker’s allowance, such as not satisfying the means test. It is not possible to identify the profession of those who applied for jobseeker’s allowance but who did not qualify for the scheme for whatever reason.

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