Written answers

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Department of Social Protection

Jobseeker's Allowance Payments

Photo of Pat RabbittePat Rabbitte (Minister, Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources; Dublin South West, Labour)
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110. To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Social Protection the deadline for submissions to the Labour Market Council for its review of payments for persons under 26 years of age under the jobseeker's allowance scheme; when the report will be published; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [3985/16]

Photo of Joan BurtonJoan Burton (Minister, Department of Social Protection; Dublin West, Labour)
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Reduced rates for younger jobseeker’s allowance recipients were first introduced in 2009, and extended in subsequent Budgets. A weekly jobseeker’s allowance rate of €100 applies to jobseekers aged 18-24 and a weekly rate of €144 applies to jobseekers who are 25 years of age.

These measures are targeted activation measures, aimed at protecting young people from welfare dependency by incentivising them to avail of education and training opportunities. If a jobseeker in receipt of the reduced jobseeker’s allowance rate participates on an education or training programme they will receive a higher weekly payment of €160.

The Labour Market Council is a group comprising of independent industry leaders and labour market policy experts from organisations including the OECD, SIPTU and the Irish National Organisation for the Unemployed. The Council has responsibility for driving the implementation of the Pathways to Work strategy and for advising on labour market policy. That is why I have asked the Council to examine the reduced rates of jobseeker’s allowance for those under 26 years of age. I expect that this report will be available from the Council by the middle of this year.

The impact of the reduced rates for persons under 26 years of age progressing from the Live Register was considered at the last Labour Market Council meeting on the 18thof January and is due to be discussed further at the next Council meeting on the 22ndof February. These discussions will be informed in the first instance by information supplied by my Department as well as drawing on the broad and varied range of experience and knowledge among the Labour Market Council members. It will be a matter for the Council to consider if, and if so what, additional material (including submissions) should be sought to conclude its review.

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