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Results 1-20 of 5,714 for section:Dáil debates speaker:Leo Varadkar

Topical Issue Debate: JobPath Implementation (1 Dec 2016)

Leo Varadkar: JobPath is a relatively new approach to employment activation whereby my Department has procured additional resources, under contract, to enable us to provide a high quality case-managed service to people who are long-term unemployed. JobPath supplements the internal case management capacity of my Department's Intreo service and the local employment service, LES. Over the past year, this...

Topical Issue Debate: JobPath Implementation (1 Dec 2016)

Leo Varadkar: People are made aware of the complaints procedure, or at least they should be. I will instruct my officials to ensure that is the case. I get some complaints to my office and they vary in nature. They go from people who just did not like the case officer or had a communications or personality clash to people who are just shocked that somebody is engaging with them one-to-one for the first...

Social Welfare Bill 2016: Report Stage (Resumed) and Final Stage (24 Nov 2016)

Leo Varadkar: I do not propose to accept the amendment. The original purpose of the mortgage interest supplement scheme was to provide a short-term support to eligible people who were unable to meet their mortgage interest repayments in respect of their home. Section 11 of the Social Welfare and Pensions Act 2013 provided for the closure of the scheme to new entrants from January 2014 and the cessation...

Social Welfare Bill 2016: Report Stage (Resumed) and Final Stage (24 Nov 2016)

Leo Varadkar: I totally disagree. If we want to have a genuinely targeted and short-term solution, persons who cannot pay their mortgage for a few months should approach the lending institution and be given a mortgage holiday, have their mortgage term extended or have their payments changed.

Social Welfare Bill 2016: Report Stage (Resumed) and Final Stage (24 Nov 2016)

Leo Varadkar: If the State and taxpayers decide to pay someone's mortgage interest for a few months in these circumstances, it would amount to a subsidy for the banks. I find it remarkable that we are having this debate and that the Deputy is proposing to use public money to provide a further subsidy for the banks. I totally disagree with her.

Social Welfare Bill 2016: Report Stage (Resumed) and Final Stage (24 Nov 2016)

Leo Varadkar: The cost of retrospective payment will be examined. To go back and recalculate people's pensions would be a very big job. If there is a significant change in the rules, we could recalculate the pensions of people who have already retired and tell them their pensions are being reduced. We are facing into people coming to us and saying they are not getting the pension they thought they would...

Social Welfare Bill 2016: Report Stage (Resumed) and Final Stage (24 Nov 2016)

Leo Varadkar: I thank the Deputies for raising this issue and touching on some of the anomalies that exist in the way we calculate contributory pensions. Regarding the issue raised by Deputy Boyd Barrett, my officials and I are not familiar with the situation whereby only one person in a couple was required to make PRSI contributions but the history of social insurance legislation is lengthy and...

Social Welfare Bill 2016: Report Stage (Resumed) and Final Stage (24 Nov 2016)

Leo Varadkar: -----details we would be happy to check that out, even for our own education. It is the case that pre-1995 public servants paid a lower rate of PRSI. As a result, public servants recruited before 1995 pay a lower rate of PRSI at 0.9%. This means that they are not entitled to a State contributory pension. That is the case for men and women, married or unmarried. It has nothing to do with...

Social Welfare Bill 2016: Report Stage (Resumed) and Final Stage (24 Nov 2016)

Leo Varadkar: Yes. Those recruited to the public service before 1995 pay a lower rate of PRSI and are not entitled to a State contributory pension as a result. That has nothing to do with them being men or women, married or not married. It is just that public servants recruited before 1995 pay less than one quarter of the amount of PRSI paid by anyone else. Their employer pays nothing at all for them...

Social Welfare Bill 2016: Report Stage (Resumed) and Final Stage (24 Nov 2016)

Leo Varadkar: Having listened and discussed this a little, perhaps Deputy John Brady and I are on the same wavelength. He is not proposing double compensation as much as a double penalty.

Social Welfare Bill 2016: Report Stage (Resumed) and Final Stage (24 Nov 2016)

Leo Varadkar: The employer would have to compensate the individual fully for his or her loss of income and also the Department of Social Protection for the payments made. This needs to be considered further and I would need to receive the advice of the Attorney General on whether we could introduce double penalties. I am not familiar with other instances in civil or criminal law where double penalties...

Social Welfare Bill 2016: Report Stage (Resumed) and Final Stage (24 Nov 2016)

Leo Varadkar: Second, the amendment proposed is very broad and includes all social welfare payments. For example, if someone was unfairly dismissed and, separately, his or her partner or a relative became unwell and the person availed of carer's benefit or carer's allowance, the amendment would allow that payment to be recouped, even though it had no connection whatsoever with the unfair dismissal. A...

Social Welfare Bill 2016: Report Stage (Resumed) and Final Stage (24 Nov 2016)

Leo Varadkar: The principle of double compensation, namely that a person is not compensated twice in respect of the same injury, must be central to our thinking in this matter. The current arrangements draw a clear distinction between compensation properly due in respect of unfair dismissal on the one hand and social welfare payments to meet income support on the other. If we were to change that position...

Social Welfare Bill 2016: Report Stage (Resumed) and Final Stage (24 Nov 2016)

Leo Varadkar: The stated intention of the amendment is to recoup for the State the cost of welfare payments in cases where a person is unfairly dismissed. In principle, it seems like an attractive and appropriate course of action. However, if applied to unfair dismissal cases, the principal could give rise to unintended consequences which would not be in the interests of persons found to have been...

Social Welfare Bill 2016: Report Stage (24 Nov 2016)

Leo Varadkar: I imagine the €12.70 figure relates to what used to be £10. As such, I suspect it has not been increased for a very long time. I want to be as helpful here as possible and to understand this better myself. I am having trouble understanding how this impacts on individual cases and I would welcome a report to understand it myself. I can direct officials to get started on that...

Social Welfare Bill 2016: Report Stage (24 Nov 2016)

Leo Varadkar: While I do not propose to accept the amendment as a legislative obligation, I will ask my officials to examine the issue of jobseeker’s benefit and the treatment of part-time and seasonal workers, including those categorised as having subsidiary employment. We believe this work could be done in approximately four months. The matter has been raised several times, particularly in the...

Social Welfare Bill 2016: Report Stage (24 Nov 2016)

Leo Varadkar: I thank the Deputy for his comments. He is quite right in that there is no realistic prospect of meeting the 4% target in 2016. That target was set long before the financial crisis, but we do not yet know how much progress we have made in getting to that point. That is why I would also like to see up-to-date numbers. Deputy Thomas Pringle asked about the impact of measures. The...

Social Welfare Bill 2016: Report Stage (24 Nov 2016)

Leo Varadkar: That is a very good point which has been well made. Like everyone I want to see more up-to-date statistics. They will always be a bit out of date. The year ends on 31 December and the statistics will always be a quarter or two quarters in arrears. We would like to see more up-to-date numbers in order to make decisions based on them. The amendment does not provide for that and simply...

Social Welfare Bill 2016: Report Stage (24 Nov 2016)

Leo Varadkar: I do not propose to accept the amendment which calls for an annual analysis of child poverty rates and a report thereon to be laid before the Houses of the Oireachtas and issued to the Joint Committee on Social Protection. There is already independent annual reporting of child poverty rates through the CSO in the survey on income and living conditions, SILC. The survey is carried out as...

Social Welfare Bill 2016: Report Stage (24 Nov 2016)

Leo Varadkar: I move amendment No. 2:In page 8, to delete lines 1 to 7.

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