Written answers

Wednesday, 23 October 2019

Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection

Social Welfare Benefits Data

Photo of John BradyJohn Brady (Wicklow, Sinn Fein)
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58. To ask the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the number of young jobseekers aged 18 to 24 years of age who will not see their weekly rate increase to the full rate as announced in budget 2020; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [43520/19]

Photo of Regina DohertyRegina Doherty (Meath East, Fine Gael)
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On Budget Day, I announced measures to support young jobseekers including the abolition of the age-related rate of payment for 25 year olds, from January 2020. I also announced that the increased rate would be available to jobseekers aged 18 to 24 who are living independently and in receipt of State housing supports including rent supplement and the Housing Assistance Payment.  

From next January, a young jobseeker aged 25 years will receive a weekly increase of €45.20 from €157.80 up to €203 and a younger jobseeker will benefit by up to €90.30 per week. These are significant weekly increases.

There are currently over 19,000 jobseekers aged 18-25 of which 16,100 are in receipt of a reduced age-related payment.  The measures that I have announced will benefit approximately 2,080 of those on the reduced rates at a cost of €5.2 million for 2020, leaving a balance of approximately 14,000 on age related rates.  

In 2009, youth unemployment had reached its highest rate with almost  28% of young people under the age of 25 unemployed. The CSO seasonally-adjusted youth unemployment rate for September 2019 has almost halved in the last 10 years to 14.8%.

Age-related rates for young jobseekers protect them from long-term welfare dependency, by providing them with a strong financial incentive to participate in education or training to improve their chances of obtaining full time employment. A young jobseeker who participates in education or training receives the maximum personal rate of €203. Jobseekers who participate in the Youth Employment Support Scheme, receive €229.20. I will continue to focus on youth unemployment and in developing initiatives to help young people back into work.

The Deputy will be aware that my Department is finalising a review on the impacts of the reduced rates on young jobseekers and I expect that this will be completed shortly.  


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