Wednesday, 21 September 2022
Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection
Social Welfare Schemes
82. To ask the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if she has considered with regard to the back-to-enterprise allowance adjusting the reduction of 75 per cent of entitlements on the second year of the scheme (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [46078/22]
The Back to Work Enterprise Allowance scheme offers support for people who are long term unemployed and who wish to enter the labour market through self-employment. The scheme plays a vital role in supporting the development of new enterprises. A budget of €56.5m has been allocated for the scheme in 2022.
The Back to Work Enterprise Allowance scheme is designed to provide a monetary incentive for people in receipt of a qualifying social welfare payment to develop a business while allowing them to retain a reducing proportion of their payment over two years with no restriction on the number of hours worked. A person retains 100% of their payment in year 1 and 75% in year 2, representing a 25% reduction of payment in year 2.
Back to Work Enterprise Allowance participants who have an established entitlement to Fuel Allowance on their underlying social welfare payment may retain this payment as a secondary benefit for the 2 year duration of their Back to Work Enterprise Allowance claim.
Payment of social welfare support at the current levels for up to 2 years during the initial start-up period of a new business is a valuable support and assists to alleviate the associated risks involved and provides an element of financial security along with business mentoring and supports. There are no plans to amend the level of payments under the Back to Work Enterprise Allowance scheme.
I trust this clarifies the position.