Tuesday, 2 July 2019

Questions (644)

Peter Burke


644. Deputy Peter Burke asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the estimated cost of extending the number of months for a payment to be made (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [27708/19]

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Written answers (Question to Employment)

The cost of extending the Fuel Allowance payment for the full calendar year would be €201.9 million.

To examine the impact of the measure on poverty rates, a social impact assessment has been carried out. This is an evidence-based methodology which estimates the likely distributive effects of this change on household income. The assessment uses a tax-welfare simulation model developed by the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) know as SWITCH (Simulating Welfare and Income Tax Changes). The model simulates the impact of changes in welfare and income tax for a representative sample of 9,770 households drawn from the 2013/2014/2015 CSO Survey on Income and Living Conditions, with the data updated to reflect trends in population, employment and incomes.

The model estimates that the overall population at risk of poverty would fall by 0.2%, with a reduction in the rate of older people at risk of poverty by 1.5%.

Any change to the Fuel Allowance conditions would need to be considered in an overall budgetary context.