Written Answers - Social Welfare Benefits.

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 670 No. 4

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  359.  Deputy Michael D’Arcy  Information on Michael D'Arcy  Zoom on Michael D'Arcy   asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs  Information on Mary Hanafin  Zoom on Mary Hanafin   if the charge for persons applying for rent or mortgage subsidies is to increase by €5, from €13 to €18; the purpose of the charge; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [46095/08]

Minister for Social and Family Affairs (Deputy Mary Hanafin): Information on Mary Hanafin  Zoom on Mary Hanafin  The supplementary welfare allowance scheme, which includes rent supplement and mortgage interest supplement, is administered on behalf of the Department by the community welfare division of the Health Service Executive (HSE).

Entitlement to rent and mortgage interest supplement is determined on the basis of the circumstances of each individual case, including accommodation/mortgage costs and the income of the applicant. Payment of a supplement is calculated to ensure that an eligible person, after the payment of rent/mortgage interest, has an income equal to the rate of supplementary welfare allowance appropriate to his or her family circumstances, less a minimum weekly contribution which each recipient is required to pay from his or her own resources. The minimum contribution is currently €13 per week. This was set in 2004 and represented approximately 10% of the minimum social welfare weekly payment rate at that time. While social welfare payments have risen by nearly €70 per week since then, no upward adjustment has been made to the minimum contribution.

As part of Budget 2009, the minimum contribution is being increased from €13 to €18 with effect from January 2009 which will represent 8.8% of the basic social welfare weekly payment. While the new rate of €18 will reduce the differential between the contribution which rent and mortgage interest supplement recipients pay and the contribution payable under the local [997]authority differential rent scheme, it is still significantly less than the minimum rent paid by local authority tenants, which for example, is €24.87 in Dublin city and €26 in Limerick county.

  360.  Deputy Fergus O’Dowd  Information on Fergus O'Dowd  Zoom on Fergus O'Dowd   asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs  Information on Mary Hanafin  Zoom on Mary Hanafin   the number of persons which her Department partially funded to set up in the taxi business; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [46119/08]

Minister for Social and Family Affairs (Deputy Mary Hanafin): Information on Mary Hanafin  Zoom on Mary Hanafin  A person in receipt of a social welfare payment who decides to set up as a self employed taxi operator may be eligible to apply for the back to work enterprise allowance (BTWEA). A breakdown by occupation or the nature of the self-employment of recipients of the back to work enterprise allowance scheme or the technical assistance and training scheme is not available from records held by the department.

  361.  Deputy Olwyn Enright  Information on Olwyn Enright  Zoom on Olwyn Enright   asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs  Information on Mary Hanafin  Zoom on Mary Hanafin   the number of non-Irish nationals in receipt of child benefit on 1 December 2007 and in receipt of same on 1 December 2008; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [46132/08]

  362.  Deputy Olwyn Enright  Information on Olwyn Enright  Zoom on Olwyn Enright   asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs  Information on Mary Hanafin  Zoom on Mary Hanafin   the number of Irish nationals in receipt of child benefit on 1 December 2007 and in receipt of same on 1 December 2008; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [46133/08]

  363.  Deputy Olwyn Enright  Information on Olwyn Enright  Zoom on Olwyn Enright   asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs  Information on Mary Hanafin  Zoom on Mary Hanafin   the number of non-Irish nationals in receipt of early childcare supplement on 1 December 2007 and in receipt of same on 1 December 2008; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [46134/08]

  364.  Deputy Olwyn Enright  Information on Olwyn Enright  Zoom on Olwyn Enright   asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs  Information on Mary Hanafin  Zoom on Mary Hanafin   the number of Irish nationals in receipt of early childcare supplement on 1 December 2007 and in receipt of same on 1 December 2008; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [46135/08]

Minister for Social and Family Affairs (Deputy Mary Hanafin): Information on Mary Hanafin  Zoom on Mary Hanafin  I proposed to take Questions Nos. 361 to 364, inclusive, together. The total number of recipients of child benefit at 1 December 2007 was 587,943, in respect of 1,125,360 children. Of this total, 80,038 are non Irish national customers claiming in respect of 146,302 children. The number of recipients of child benefit at 1 December 2008 was 592,416 in respect of 1,136,192 children. Of these 92,744 are non Irish national customers claiming in respect of 169,135 children.

The Early Childcare Supplement (ECS) is administered by the Department of Social and Family Affairs on behalf of the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs. The total number of customers in receipt of the Early Childcare Supplement, as of 1 December 2007 was 284,641, in respect of 382,182 eligible children. The figure at 1 December 2008 was 295,388, in respect of 398,667 eligible children.

A record of ECS payments, by nationality, is not maintained. However, as the receipt of ECS is dependent on Child Benefit being paid, it can be assumed that the percentage of non-nationals receiving the ECS payment is broadly in line with that receiving Child Benefit.

  365.  Deputy Olwyn Enright  Information on Olwyn Enright  Zoom on Olwyn Enright   asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs  Information on Mary Hanafin  Zoom on Mary Hanafin   the number of non-Irish nationals in receipt of jobseeker’s allowance on 1 December 2007 and in receipt of same on 1 December 2008; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [46136/08]

[998]

  366.  Deputy Olwyn Enright  Information on Olwyn Enright  Zoom on Olwyn Enright   asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs  Information on Mary Hanafin  Zoom on Mary Hanafin   the number of Irish nationals in receipt of jobseeker’s allowance on 1 December 2007 and in receipt of same on 1 December 2008; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [46137/08]

  367.  Deputy Olwyn Enright  Information on Olwyn Enright  Zoom on Olwyn Enright   asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs  Information on Mary Hanafin  Zoom on Mary Hanafin   the number of non-Irish nationals in receipt of jobseeker’s benefit on 1 December 2007 and in receipt of same on 1 December 2008; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [46138/08]

  368.  Deputy Olwyn Enright  Information on Olwyn Enright  Zoom on Olwyn Enright   asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs  Information on Mary Hanafin  Zoom on Mary Hanafin   the number of Irish nationals in receipt of jobseeker’s benefit on 1 December 2007 and in receipt of same on 1 December 2008; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [46139/08]

Minister for Social and Family Affairs (Deputy Mary Hanafin): Information on Mary Hanafin  Zoom on Mary Hanafin  I propose to take Questions Nos. 365 to 368, inclusive, together.

The following are the details of Irish and non-Irish claimants in receipt of a jobseekers payment in December 2007 and December 2008.

Jobseekers Allowance Jobseekers Benefit
Irish Non-Irish Irish Non-Irish Total
Dec-07 89,538 13,190 52,449 8,389 163,566
Dec-08 114,200 19,000 96,365 25,000 254,565

All persons, regardless of nationality, who meet the contributions and other conditions of the jobseeker schemes are treated equally.

  369.  Deputy Olwyn Enright  Information on Olwyn Enright  Zoom on Olwyn Enright   asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs  Information on Mary Hanafin  Zoom on Mary Hanafin   the number of non-Irish nationals in receipt of illness benefit on 1 December 2007 and in receipt of same on 1 December 2008; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [46140/08]

  370.  Deputy Olwyn Enright  Information on Olwyn Enright  Zoom on Olwyn Enright   asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs  Information on Mary Hanafin  Zoom on Mary Hanafin   the number of Irish nationals in receipt of illness benefit on 1 December 2007 and in receipt of same on 1 December 2008; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [46141/08]

Minister for Social and Family Affairs (Deputy Mary Hanafin): Information on Mary Hanafin  Zoom on Mary Hanafin  I propose to take Questions Nos. 369 and 370 together.

The relevant figures relating to the number of Illness Benefit claims in payment to Irish nationals and the number in payment to non-Irish nationals are set out in the table below. The breakdown of claims by nationality in respect of 2007 is only available on a quarterly basis. Therefore, the figures given are for the end of the fourth quarter of 2007 (week ending 28 December 2007).

Week Ending Claims in Payment (Irish) Claims in Payment (non-Irish) Total
28 Dec 2007 67,438 2,966 70,404
28 Nov 2008 69,211 3,794 73,005

  371.  Deputy Olwyn Enright  Information on Olwyn Enright  Zoom on Olwyn Enright   asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs  Information on Mary Hanafin  Zoom on Mary Hanafin   the number of non-Irish nationals in receipt of rent supplement on 1 December 2007 and in receipt of same on 1 December 2008; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [46142/08]

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  372.  Deputy Olwyn Enright  Information on Olwyn Enright  Zoom on Olwyn Enright   asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs  Information on Mary Hanafin  Zoom on Mary Hanafin   the number of Irish nationals in receipt of rent supplement on 1 December 2007 and in receipt of same on 1 December 2008; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [46143/08]

Minister for Social and Family Affairs (Deputy Mary Hanafin): Information on Mary Hanafin  Zoom on Mary Hanafin  I propose to take Questions Nos. 371 and 372 together.

Attached is a tabular statement showing the number of Irish and Non-Irish nationals in receipt of rent supplement at the end of 2007 and at 3 December 2008.

Recipients of Rent Supplement by Nationality 2007 and 2008

Nationality 2007* 2008**
Irish 36,892 44,598
Non-Irish 17,959 23,628
Coded as “Other”*** 4,875 4,018
Total 59,726 72,244

  373.  Deputy Olwyn Enright  Information on Olwyn Enright  Zoom on Olwyn Enright   asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs  Information on Mary Hanafin  Zoom on Mary Hanafin   the number of non-Irish nationals in receipt of one parent family payment on 1 December 2007 and in receipt of same on 1 December 2008; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [46144/08]

  374.  Deputy Olwyn Enright  Information on Olwyn Enright  Zoom on Olwyn Enright   asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs  Information on Mary Hanafin  Zoom on Mary Hanafin   the number of Irish nationals in receipt of one parent family payment on 1 December 2007 and in receipt of same on 1 December 2008; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [46145/08]

Minister for Social and Family Affairs (Deputy Mary Hanafin): Information on Mary Hanafin  Zoom on Mary Hanafin  I propose to take Questions Nos. 373 and 374 together

The information requested on persons in receipt of One-parent Family Payment on 1 December 2007 and 1 December 2008 is set out in the table below. The table identifies the number of Irish nationals, non-Irish nationals and also those people for whom the Department does not hold nationality data.

Nationality 01 December 2007 01 December 2008
Irish 65,915 69,698
Non-Irish 9,980 9,929
Coded as ‘other’ 9,189 8,416
Total 85,084 88,043

  375.  Deputy John Deasy  Information on John Deasy  Zoom on John Deasy   asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs  Information on Mary Hanafin  Zoom on Mary Hanafin   the number of Irish citizens in receipt of the equivalent of jobseeker’s allowance and jobseeker’s benefit in each of the other 26 European Union States; and the number of Irish citizens in receipt of the equivalent of jobseeker’s allowance and jobseeker’s benefit in each of the other 26 European Union States in December of each of the years 2003 to 2007. [46150/08]

[1000]Minister for Social and Family Affairs (Deputy Mary Hanafin): Information on Mary Hanafin  Zoom on Mary Hanafin  The information requested by the Deputy is not available. Irish citizens living and working abroad may claim any social security payments for which they qualify in their country of residence but there is no requirement that foreign countries notify such claims to the Department.

  376.  Deputy John Perry  Information on John Perry  Zoom on John Perry   asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs  Information on Mary Hanafin  Zoom on Mary Hanafin   her plans to have illness benefit means tested; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [46201/08]

Minister for Social and Family Affairs (Deputy Mary Hanafin): Information on Mary Hanafin  Zoom on Mary Hanafin  Illness Benefit (formerly know as Disability Benefit) is an income support payment for people of working age who are unable to work due to illness and who satisfy certain social insurance conditions. There are no plans to introduce a means-test to this social insurance-based scheme.


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