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Covid-19 Pandemic Supports

Dáil Éireann Debate, Thursday - 24 March 2022

Thursday, 24 March 2022

Ceisteanna (286)

Alan Kelly

Ceist:

286. Deputy Alan Kelly asked the Minister for Social Protection the total amount allocated to the wage subsidy scheme financial support to employers who employ persons with a disability (details supplied) over the past five years; and the amount of that funding that has been drawn down over the five years by employers specifically for the reason of the grant. [15610/22]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Social)

The Wage Subsidy Scheme (WSS) is an employment support to private sector employers, the objective of which is to encourage employers to employ people with disabilities and thereby increase the numbers of people with disabilities participating in the open labour market. The scheme provides financial incentives to private sector employers to hire people with a disability for between 21 and 39 subsidised hours per week under a contract of employment. Since January 2022, the basic rate of subsidy is €6.30 per hour giving a total annual subsidy of €12,776 per annum based on a 39-hour week. The rate of the subsidy increases when an employer employs 3 WSS participants or more. The subsidy is paid to the employer.

Over the past five years, the Wage Subsidy Scheme was allocated over €124 million and the amount drawn down by employers is over €101 million. The following table provides a breakdown of the Wage Subsidy Scheme funding allocated and the amount drawn down by employers per year

Year

WSS Budget

WSS Expenditure

2017

€25,900,000

€20,836,627

2018

€23,160,000

€22,321,024

2019

€24,720,000

€23,819,491

2020

€24,550,000

€18,356,000

2021

€25,980,000

€15,899,752*

* Appropriation accounts not yet complete for 2021

The scheme funding drawn down by employers from March 2020 is significantly reduced due to the Covid Pandemic as employers in receipt of the Revenue Employer Wage Subsidy Scheme could not claim the disability Wage Subsidy Scheme payments concurrently.

I hope this clarifies the issue for the Deputy.

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