Written answers

Thursday, 24 October 2019

Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection

Jobseeker's Benefit

Photo of Willie O'DeaWillie O'Dea (Limerick City, Fianna Fail)
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339. To ask the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the estimated full-year cost in 2020 of the new jobseeker's benefit payment for the self-employed; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [44102/19]

Photo of Regina DohertyRegina Doherty (Meath East, Fine Gael)
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It is my intention that the new scheme of job-seeker's benefit for the self-employed, which I announced as part of the Budget 2019, will be introduced from November this year.  This scheme will provide a social insurance contribution-based benefit to the self-employed who lose their self-employment and consequently are not engaged in self-employment.

As with any new demand led scheme it is difficult to forecast the numbers that will apply and qualify for this benefit.  Labour market conditions and the prevailing economic conditions will affect the take up of this scheme and as a consequence the costs.  My Department has provided €0.7 million for 2019 in the estimates and €13.7m for 2020 which will be the first full year of the scheme. 

This measure is part of the Government's stated aim of creating a supportive environment for entrepreneurship, including providing an income safety net to both employees and self-employed people.  The addition of this new scheme builds on other significant improvements for self-employed people in recent years such as access to invalidity pension and treatment benefits in 2017.  All these improvements to entitlements are a real advance in the level of cover available to the self-employed.

I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.


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