The Department provides a range of income supports and activation programmes for long-term unemployed jobseekers and those most distant from the labour market. These supports include the Rural Social Scheme (RSS), Tús, and Community Employment (CE) scheme.
While there are differences in the objectives and delivery of these schemes and supports, they each share a common payment structure and working week of 19 and a half hours.
The rate of payment for participants on RSS, Tús and CE is based on the rate of payment of a participant's underlying social welfare payment, including any increases in respect of a qualified adult spouse or partner, and dependent children; plus an additional increase of €22.50 per week. Although not linked to the National Minimum Wage (NMW), the rate of payment on RSS, Tús or CE equates to at least €11.56 per hour, which is higher than the NMW.
The increases which were announced in Budget 2022, on a range of social welfare payments including jobseekers payments increases of €5 per week, will be added to weekly payments to participants in the new year. Participants in receipt of fuel allowance, have already had the Budget 2022 increase to this allowance applied to their weekly payments.
There are no plans to introduce further changes to the existing payment structures on the employment support schemes at present.
I trust this clarifies matters for the Deputy.