Dáil debates

Thursday, 29 April 2021

Ceisteanna ó Cheannairí - Leaders' Questions


12:35 pm

Photo of Leo VaradkarLeo Varadkar (Dublin West, Fine Gael) | Oireachtas source

I will, with the help of the Minister, Deputy Humphreys, look into the issue the Deputy raised of people who are on the pandemic unemployment payment moving to a lower payment, maternity benefit, and we will see whether we can do anything on it.

I had the privilege to be Taoiseach for three years and Minister for Social Protection for one year, and this is exactly the space I moved us into. I restored treatment benefit, dental and optical, for people who have paid PRSI, extended social insurance benefits, such as treatment benefit, to the self-employed and farmers. I brought in paternity benefit, extended jobseeker's benefit and invalidity pension for the first time to the self-employed and increased the minimum wage by 25%. I think I have a good record, in the brief time I had to do those things, and hope to do more in this role and any future role I may hold in government. These things need to be worked out and legislated for, and also to be funded.


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