In line with other EU and OECD jurisdictions, age related reduced jobseeker’s allowance (JA) payments for young unemployed people were introduced on a phased basis to tackle high youth unemployment. Receiving the maximum rate of JA without a strong financial incentive to engage in education or training can lead to long-term welfare dependency from a young age.
Under Pathways to Work 2016-2020, the Department committed to review and report on the impact of the reduced rates for JA recipients aged 18 to 25.
The National University of Ireland, Maynooth (NUIM) has undertaken research which examined the effectiveness of the reduced rates in encouraging young jobseekers to avail of education, training and employment.
My Department has not commissioned this research, rather, it has allowed the NUIM access to the data from the Jobseeker’s Longitudinal Database to undertake this research. The University examined data for 18 and 19 year olds, the reduced rates were first introduced for this cohort.
The NUIM published its findings in December 2018 which found positive results noting a significant reduction in unemployment durations.
My Department's officials recently met with the authors of the NUIM publication and are in the process of examining their detailed findings which be used as an input into the Department's review which will be a stand alone report examining the impact of the reduced rates. I expect that the Department's report will be completed shortly.