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Written Answers. - Social Welfare Services.

Wednesday, 12 June 1996

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 466 No. 7

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 153. Mr. Deasy Information on Austin Deasy Zoom on Austin Deasy  asked the Minister for Social Welfare Information on Prionsias De Rossa Zoom on Prionsias De Rossa  the social welfare payments and services that are provided through post offices on behalf of his Department. [12265/96]

Minister for Social Welfare (Proinsias De Rossa): Information on Prionsias De Rossa Zoom on Prionsias De Rossa An Post is the principal agency through which payments are delivered to social welfare customers. At present, An Post delivers approximately 755,000 weekly and 520,000 monthly payments to social welfare customers. The total value of payments made by An Post each week amounts to some £52.4 million. It is estimated that An Post will deliver about 46 million payments to social welfare customers during 1996. Details of the scheme types and volumes involved are given in the table attached.

In addition to payment services, An Post also provides special savings bank deposit accounts into which social welfare customers may opt to have certain pension and child benefit payments transferred electronically. At present, 1,370 pensioners and 6,159 child benefit customers avail of this service.

An Post also provides a household budgeting facility for unemployed customers who may opt to have deductions [1929] made from their weekly payments and remitted on their behalf to a range of utilities. These include 46 local authorities and the St. Pancras Housing Association in respect of housing rents, Telecom Éireann in respect of telephone charges and the Electricity Supply Board and Bord Gáis in respect of energy charges. At present over 9,500 unemployed customers avail of the household budgeting service. It is [1930] planned to extend this facility to the lone parent customer group later this year.

An Post provides a collection service to certain categories of self-employed people who pay their self-employment contributions through the post offices.

Post offices carry a range of social welfare information leaflets and application forms for a number of social welfare schemes.

Table

Average Volume of Payments at Post Offices, by Scheme

Weekly Payments  
Old Age Contributory Pension 62,000
Old Age Non-Contributory Pension 102,000
Retirement Pension 59,000
Survivor's Contributory Pension 90,000
Widow's Non-Contributory Pension 19,000
Orphan's Contributory Pension 500
Orphan's Non-Contributory Pension 200
Invalidity Pension 53,000
Deserted Wife's Benefit 24,000
Deserted Wife's Allowance 2,000
Lone Parent (Unmarried Parent) Pension 35,000
Survivor's Benefit 600
Free Fuel 3,000
Lone Parent (Widowed Parent) Pension 2,000
Lone Parent (Separated Spouse) Allowance 11,000
Pre-Retirement Allowance 17,000
Carer's Allowance 10,000
Lone Parent (Prisoner's Spouse) Allowance 100
Long-Term Unemployment Assistance 16,000
Long-Term Disability Benefit 25,000
Family Income Supplement 11,000
Back-To-Work Scheme 14,000
Blind Person's Pension 3,000
Unemployment Payments 196,000
Total 755,400
Monthly Payments  
Child Benefit 520,000


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