I propose to take Questions Nos. 575 and 578 together.
The issue of extending additional social insurance benefits to the self-employed paying class S PRSI was considered in the Actuarial Review of the Social Insurance fund (SIF) as at 31 December 2015, which was published on 18 October 2017. The review, required by legislation, was carried out by independent consultants, KPMG. It examines the projected income and expenditure of the SIF over the course of the 55 year period from 2016 to 2071.
The Actuarial Review calculated the approximate first year cost in 2019. The table below shows the estimated cost of extending illness and carer's benefits to the self-employed in the first year and the estimated cost in a full year as follows -
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2019 (Full year)
Latest Departmental estimates show that in the first full year of extension of illness and carer's benefit to the self-employed it is expected that there will be approximately 8,300 extra recipients of illness benefit and 400 extra recipients of carer's benefit at year end. These estimates assume the same incidence rate of illness/caring as for the general insured population.
I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.