Tuesday, 16 June 2020
Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection
1039. To ask the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the cost of increasing the jobseeker's allowance for those young persons under 25 years of age who are currently on the weekly rate of €112.70 by €45.15 per week to €157.85; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [11604/20]
The age-related jobseeker’s allowance rate of €112.70 generally applies to young jobseekers aged 18-24 to incentivise them to engage in education or training which will improve their chances of obtaining full time sustainable employment. Where a young jobseeker participates in education or training they can receive the maximum weekly personal rate of up to €203. In addition where a young jobseeker participates in the Youth Employment Support Scheme (YESS), a voluntary work experience programme for18-24 years olds who are long-term unemployed or face barriers to employment, they can receive a maximum weekly payment of €229.20. This scheme continues to be available despite the current restrictions of movement and arrangements for social distancing.
The full year cost of increasing the weekly rate of €112.70 by €45.15 per week to €157.85 for young persons under 25 years of age on the age-related reduced rates of jobseeker’s allowance, based on the existing number of recipients, would be approximately €35 million.
I trust that this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.
1041. To ask the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the number of young persons under 25 years of age on jobseeker's allowance who were previously on the €112.70 weekly rate but have now transitioned to date to the €203 weekly rate arising from the decision in budget 2020 to increase the rate for those on jobseeker's allowance under 25 years of age if they are living independently and in receipt of a State housing support such as rent supplement, RAS or HAP; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [11645/20]
A reduced rate of €112.70 generally applies for younger jobseeker’s allowance recipients aged 18-24 to protect them from welfare dependency by providing them with a strong financial incentive to participate in education or training to improve their chances of obtaining sustainable full time employment. Currently the weekly personal rate for jobseeker’s allowance recipients aged 18-24 years is €112.70. If a young jobseeker participates in education or training they will receive the maximum personal rate which is €203 per week. Reduced rates do not apply to all young people under 25 including those with a qualified child and those who were in the care of the Child and Family Agency, or TUSLA, during the 12 months before they reached 18. For this reason I am advised that it is not possible to identify current recipients receiving the personal rate of €203 per week solely due to living independently and receipt of a housing support.
In Budget 2020 I increased the rate of jobseeker's allowance for 18-24 year olds who are living independently and in receipt of State housing supports including rent supplement and the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP). The measure which was implemented on 1 January 2020 provides significant financial support towards the housing costs of these young jobseekers who are eligible as their weekly jobseeker’s allowance rates will increase by €90.30.
185 jobseekers aged under 25 who previously received a reduced rate of jobseeker's allowance had an increase in their payments on or after January 1st.