Dáil debates

Tuesday, 14 November 2006


Social Welfare Benefits.

3:00 am

Photo of Séamus BrennanSéamus Brennan (Dublin South, Fianna Fail)

Family income supplement is an important scheme. It is targeted as it supports families on low incomes. In answer to the Deputy's question on increasing the supplement, we made strong moves on the family income supplement in almost every budget. We will certainly consider making similar improvements in the coming budget. I am committed to the scheme and hope to continue to improve the number of people taking it up and the amount of the benefit.

To qualify for FIS one must be in full-time employment, work at least 19 hours per week, have at least one child and have an average weekly income of below the designated income threshold for the family. Last year the threshold for a family of three children increased from €497 to €565 per week and that for a family of four children increased from €522 to €630 per week. This allowed 21,000 people to apply for FIS. The scheme cost the Exchequer €106 million this year and it is a major instrument.

We will continue to improve thresholds and will examine re-running the publicity campaign we held last year which brought in 10,000 new FIS applicants. As more and more people become aware of how the scheme works, the numbers availing of it increase substantially.


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