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Written Answers - Social Welfare Benefits

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 754 No. 3

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 286.  Deputy Tom Fleming Information on Tom Fleming Zoom on Tom Fleming  asked the Minister for Social Protection Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton  if she will clearly clarify the cuts to one-parent family payments announced in the December budget; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [6849/12]

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton There were a number of measures regarding One Parent Family Payment announced in Budget 2012. The following is a brief description of each of those measures:

1. Up to 2010, One-Parent Family Payment could be claimed in cases where the youngest child was up to 18 years of age (22 years of age if in full-time education). The maximum age was reduced to 14 in 2010. As a result of Budget 2012, the maximum age will be reduced from 14 to 7 progressively over the period 2012 to 2014 inclusive — to age 12 in 2012, age 10 in 2013 and age 7 in 2014.

2. It was also announced in Budget 2012 that the amount of earnings disregarded for the purposes of the One Parent Family Payment means test will be reduced from €146.50 to €130.00 per week in 2012 for new and existing recipients. Further reductions will be introduced over the following four years.

3. From January 2012, payment of a six month transitional payment of half of the rate of One Parent Family Payment where the recipient’s earnings exceed €425 per week will be discontinued. Existing recipients of the temporary payment were not affected.

4. Finally, Budget 2012 also provided that participants on Community Employment (CE) schemes would no longer be simultaneously entitled to both One Parent Family Payment and a CE payment. That measure affects new entrants to CE from January 2012.


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