In Budget 2019, I announced a new scheme which will provide a PRSI insurance based benefit to self-employed people who lose employment. This measure will be introduced later this year and builds on other recent significant improvements for the self-employed such as access to invalidity pension and treatment benefits. It is part of the Government’s aim of creating a supportive environment for entrepreneurship, including providing an income safety net to employees and self-employed alike.
Applicants will have to satisfy the qualifying conditions for the new scheme including satisfying a PRSI contribution requirement. The statutory conditions and requirements for the scheme are being worked through by officials at this time as part of the legislative process.
As with any new demand-led scheme it is difficult to estimate the numbers that will apply and qualify for the scheme. Factors such as labour market conditions and the prevailing economic conditions can affect the take-up of this scheme and as a consequence the costs. It is estimated that some 1,000 could benefit from the scheme in 2019 and approximately 6,500 could benefit at any point in time in a full year. It is intended that the scheme will be introduced in November 2019 with an estimated cost of approximately €2 million. The cost in 2020, which will be the first full year of the scheme, is estimated at approximately €31 million.
I trust that this information is of assistance to the Deputy.