Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Questions (2658)

Peter Burke

Question:

2658. Deputy Peter Burke asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the estimated cost per year of giving persons in receipt of jobseeker’s benefit an extra 20% payment in the first three months of their unemployment payment and an extra 10% payment in months three to six, before reverting to the standard rate thereafter. [31509/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Employment)

Jobseeker's Benefit (JB) is a social insurance scheme paid weekly to insured persons who are out of work. This entitlement is normally paid for 9 months (234 days) for people with 260 or more PRSI contributions paid and for 6 months (156 days) for people with fewer than 260 PRSI contributions paid. The current weekly maximum personal rate of JB is €203.

The 2019 Estimates for the Department provide for expenditure this year on JB is €346 million.

Based on the current numbers of Jobseeker's Benefit recipients the estimated cost of increasing the rate of JB by 20% for the first 3 months of a persons entitlement and 10% in the next 3 months before reverting to the standard rate thereafter would be approximately €26 million in a full year. The cost would increase where the numbers of people claiming Jobseeker's Benefit increase in the future.

Any changes to the rates of payments for any social welfare support would have to be considered in a budgetary context and within the scope of the overall resources available for welfare improvements.

I trust this clarifies the matter.