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Written Answers. - Unemployment Assistance Means Test.

Thursday, 16 June 1966

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 223 No. 5

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Mr. T.J. Fitzpatrick: Information on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick Zoom on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick (Cavan) asked the Minister for Social Welfare the estimated cost in a full year of increasing by 50 per cent the means test limits in respect of unemployment assistance.

Minister for Social Welfare (Mr. Boland): Information on Kevin Boland Zoom on Kevin Boland The scale of means limits under the Unemployment Assistance Acts is determined by reference to the scale of maximum urban rates of unemployment assistance, which is itself related to the size of an applicant's family. Because of this association and the fact that the maximum rate of assistance appropriate to any particular applicant falls to be reduced by virtually all of his means, any increase in the means limits would be of no advantage unless accompanied by a corresponding increase in the relevant maximum rates of assistance.

Owing to the effect of a substantial increase in rates on the various means limits—and thus in the scope of the scheme—it is not possible to estimate with any degree of firmness the cost which could be involved in an increase so substantial as 50 per cent in unemployment assistance rates. It is thought, however, that the cost in a full year of an increase of that size in these rates would be upward of £1,600,000.

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