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Gnáthamharc

Social Welfare Benefits.

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 22 March 2005

Tuesday, 22 March 2005

Ceisteanna (303)

David Stanton

Ceist:

303 Mr. Stanton asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs when the maximum amount that can be earned per week which will allow persons to receive the full amount of the one parent family payment was last adjusted; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9354/05]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Minister for Family)

Policy under the one parent family payment is to encourage and facilitate lone parents in moving into the paid labour force so that they may avoid long-term welfare dependency. The main element of this policy is an earnings disregard of €146.50 per week. Earnings above this limit are assessed at 50%, up to a maximum of €293.00 per week. These limits have been in place since 1997. There are also transitional arrangements in place whereby a lone parent who exceeds the earnings threshold may retain 50% of his payment her payment for a further six months. Lone parents who exceed the upper income limit may be eligible for the family income supplement. The family income supplement, by providing cash support for employees with families on low earnings, preserves the incentive to remain in employment in circumstances where the employee might only be marginally better off then if she or he were claiming other social welfare payments. In the context of work under the special initiative on ending child poverty under Sustaining Progress, the Cabinet Committee on Social Inclusion has arranged for a report to be prepared by senior officials on obstacles to employment for lone parents. The report will include not just an examination of the income support arrangements, but also child care, education and training, information, and employment and other relevant supports. A subgroup has been established to progress the work with a view to completion of the report by mid year. Full account will be taken, in drawing up the report, of the research carried out to date and the outcome of the extensive consultation on supports for families.

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