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Social Welfare Rates

Dáil Éireann Debate, Thursday - 1 July 2021

Thursday, 1 July 2021

Ceisteanna (300)

Róisín Shortall

Ceist:

300. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Social Protection the estimated cost in 2022 and in a full year of every €10 increase in the upper income disregard currently €350 applying to disability allowance. [35684/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Social)

Disability Allowance (DA) is a means-tested payment for people with a specified disability who are aged between 16 and 66. The disability must be expected to last for at least one year and the allowance is subject to a medical assessment, a means test and a habitual residency test.

DA is structured to support recipients to avail of opportunities to pursue their own employment ambitions, be that self-employment or in insurable employment. When an individual commences employment, they can avail of an income disregard of €140 per week. In addition, a 50% taper on earnings between €140 and €350 is also applied (disregarded), for the purpose of the means test.

The ESRI SWITCH microsimulation model has been used for the purposes of the estimate requested. The additional cost of increasing the upper limit of the earnings disregard for the disability allowance from €350 in increments of €10 up to €450 respectively are set out in tabular form below.

It is important to note that SWITCH is a tax-benefit microsimulation developed by the ESRI. It provides estimates of full-year policy changes, using data from the CSO Survey on Income and Living Conditions. These estimates are based on current Disability Allowance recipients. As Disability Allowance is a comparatively small scheme in terms of recipients, there may be issues around sample size when running costings. SWITCH cannot predict changes in behaviour (including increased take-up of employment). It should be noted that increased disregards may in fact increase the number of eligible recipients, and therefore, increase the overall Disability Allowance expenditure.

Table: Disability Allowance Disregard Upper Limit Increase from €350.00 to €450.00 in increments of €10.00

Base value

New value

Increase

Total Estimated additional Expenditure (€m per year) per incremental step

€350

€360

+ €10

€0.53

€360

€370

+ €10

€0.53

€370

€380

+ €10

€0.42

€380

€390

+ €10

€0.41

€390

€400

+ €10

€0.41

€400

€410

+ €10

€0.37

€410

€420

+ €10

€0.32

€420

€430

+ €10

€0.02

€430

€440

+ €10

€0.00

€440

€450

+ €10

€0.00

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