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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 528-542
 Header Item Jobseeker's Benefit
 Header Item Departmental Data
 Header Item Departmental Data
 Header Item Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment
 Header Item Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment
 Header Item Jobseeker's Payments
 Header Item Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment
 Header Item Free Travel Scheme
 Header Item Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment
 Header Item Social Welfare Inspections
 Header Item Covid-19 Pandemic Supports

Tuesday, 6 October 2020

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 998 No. 5
Unrevised

First Page Previous Page Page of 120 Next Page Last Page

Written Answers Nos. 528-542

Jobseeker's Benefit

 528. Deputy Brendan Smith Information on Brendan Smith Zoom on Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Social Protection Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys further to Parliamentary Question No. 547 of 22 September 2020, if this jobseeker’s benefit application will be approved with effect from 30 March 2020, in view of the fact the application meets the criteria of the scheme for payment from that date; if this application will be finalised without further delay; and if she will make a statement on the matter.  [28625/20]

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Heather Humphreys): Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys According to the records of my Department, the person concerned has been awarded a Jobseeker's Benefit payment from 01/09/2020. A decision will be made on her application prior to 01/09/2020 in due course. Once this decision has been made the Department will notify the person concerned.

  I trust this clarifies the matter.

Departmental Data

 529. Deputy Ged Nash Information on Ged Nash Zoom on Ged Nash asked the Minister for Social Protection Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys the number of young persons under 25 years of age in receipt of jobseeker’s allowance, jobseeker’s benefit and signing for credits, respectively by county in tabular form.  [28647/20]

 531. Deputy Ged Nash Information on Ged Nash Zoom on Ged Nash asked the Minister for Social Protection Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys the number of young persons aged between 25 years and under 30 years in receipt of jobseeker’s allowance, jobseeker’s benefit and signing for credits, respectively by county in tabular form.  [28649/20]

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Heather Humphreys): Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys I propose to take Questions Nos. 529 and 531 together.

  The information requested by the Deputy in respect of the number of young persons under 25 years and between 25 and 30 years of age that are in receipt of jobseeker’s allowance, jobseeker’s benefit and signing for credits, respectively by county is detailed in the attached tabular statement.

  Tabular statement below.  

  The number of young persons under 25 years of age that are in receipt of jobseeker’s allowance (JA), jobseeker’s benefit (JB) and signing for credits (JBCO), respectively by county at the end of August 2020.

  Data

Departmental Data

 530. Deputy Ged Nash Information on Ged Nash Zoom on Ged Nash asked the Minister for Social Protection Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys the number of young persons under 25 years of age in receipt of jobseeker’s allowance, jobseeker’s benefit and signing for credits, respectively for 12 months or more by county in tabular form.  [28648/20]

 532. Deputy Ged Nash Information on Ged Nash Zoom on Ged Nash asked the Minister for Social Protection Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys the number of young persons aged between 25 years and under 30 years in receipt of jobseeker’s allowance, jobseeker’s benefit and signing for credits, respectively for 12 months or more, by county in tabular form.  [28650/20]

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Heather Humphreys): Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys I propose to take Questions Nos. 530 and 532 together.

  The information requested by the Deputy in respect of the number of young persons under 25 years and between 25 and 30 years of age that are in receipt of jobseeker’s allowance, jobseeker’s benefit and signing for credits for 12 months or more, respectively by county is detailed in the attached tabular statement.

  Tabular statement below

  The number of young persons under 25 years and between 25 and 30 years of age that are in receipt of jobseeker’s allowance, jobseeker’s benefit and signing for credits for 12 months or more, respectively by county at the end of August 2020.

  https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/debates/questions/supportingDocumentation/2020-10-06_pq530-06-10-2020_en.docx">Data

  Question No. 531 answered with Question No. 529.

  Question No. 532 answered with Question No. 530.

Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment

 533. Deputy Ged Nash Information on Ged Nash Zoom on Ged Nash asked the Minister for Social Protection Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys the number of young persons under 25 years of age in receipt of the pandemic unemployment payment, by county in tabular form.  [28651/20]

 534. Deputy Ged Nash Information on Ged Nash Zoom on Ged Nash asked the Minister for Social Protection Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys the number of young persons between 25 years and under 30 years of age in receipt of the pandemic unemployment payment by county in tabular form.  [28652/20]

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Heather Humphreys): Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys I propose to take Questions Nos. 533 and 534 together

 The information requested by the Deputy is set out in the table below, and refers to people in receipt of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment in the week ending 03 October.

County Under 25 years 25 to 29 years
Carlow 428 215
Cavan 588 226
Clare 845 358
Cork 3,898 1,984
Donegal 1,297 555
Dublin 18,104 13,512
Galway 2,126 1,123
Kerry 1,189 493
Kildare 2,353 1,009
Kilkenny 622 243
Laois 554 246
Leitrim 244 80
Limerick 1,693 1,013
Longford 271 101
Louth 1,295 565
Mayo 982 335
Meath 1,792 732
Monaghan 517 248
Offaly 616 282
Roscommon 401 152
Sligo 478 210
Tipperary 1,214 494
Waterford 878 404
Westmeath 742 320
Wexford 961 460
Wicklow 1,203 583
Other 170 109
Total 45,461 26,052

Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment

 535. Deputy Ged Nash Information on Ged Nash Zoom on Ged Nash asked the Minister for Social Protection Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys the number of persons on the €203, €250 and €300 rates of payment per week of the pandemic unemployment payment in tabular form. [28653/20]

 536. Deputy Ged Nash Information on Ged Nash Zoom on Ged Nash asked the Minister for Social Protection Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys the number of young persons under 25 years of age on the €203, €250 and €300 rates of payment per week of the pandemic unemployment payment in tabular form.  [28654/20]

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Heather Humphreys): Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys I propose to take Questions Nos. 535 and 536 together.

  The requested information is presented in the table below and refers to the number of people in general, and those aged under 25, that are in receipt of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment for the week ending 3rd October 2020.

Weekly rate Number of people Number of people aged under 25
€203 48,794 14,314
€250 38,893 11,766
€300 129,455 19,381

Jobseeker's Payments

 537. Deputy Ged Nash Information on Ged Nash Zoom on Ged Nash asked the Minister for Social Protection Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys the measures she will take in budget 2021 to implement the commitment in the programme for Government to improve jobseeker supports for persons under 24 years of age; and if she will make a statement on the matter.  [28655/20]

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Heather Humphreys): Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys The Programme for Government has committed to improve jobseekers supports for people aged under 24 over the lifetime of this Government. Under the July Stimulus package my Department, along with the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, will deliver on a number of key actions to assist young people back to work, which include:

  - extending and expanding funded job placement and work experience programmes to keep young people aligned to the labour market,

  - providing employers with incentives to recruit apprentices and hire young jobseekers from the Live Register,

  - extending access to the Back to Education Allowance to pandemic unemployment recipients, and

  - providing 35,500 new places in further and higher education courses.

  These combined measures will amount to just over €200 million in expenditure.

  In addition, my Department is now developing the Pathways to Work 2020-2025 strategy which will seek to build on the work of the July Jobs Stimulus in assisting young people with their journey to employment.

  I trust that this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment

 538. Deputy Patrick O'Donovan Information on Patrick O'Donovan Zoom on Patrick O'Donovan asked the Minister for Social Protection Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys if students can continue to claim the pandemic unemployment payment in circumstances in which they were in part-time employment prior to the pandemic, claimed the payment and are now due to return to college but their part-time employment remains closed due to Covid-19.  [28668/20]

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Heather Humphreys): Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys Under normal circumstances students are not eligible to receive unemployment payments. However the Pandemic Unemployment Payment scheme was made available as an emergency response to the unprecedented number of people, including students, who lost their employment as a consequence of the pandemic and who are not being paid by their employer.

  The Social Welfare (Covid-19) (Amendment) Act 2020 put the pandemic unemployment payment on a statutory basis since 5th August and the scheme has been extended until the end of March 2021. I have also secured agreement to keep the pandemic unemployment payment open to new applications until the end of 2020.

  Recipients of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment including students, who are returning to college, must continue to satisfy the conditions of the scheme to maintain continued payment.

  I trust this clarifies the position at this time.

Free Travel Scheme

 539. Deputy Bríd Smith Information on Bríd Smith Zoom on Bríd Smith asked the Minister for Social Protection Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys the details of the road passenger transport operators based in counties Cavan, Monaghan, Westmeath, Leitrim and Longford that received payment from her Department in respect of the carriage of free travel pass holders in each of the years 2015 to 2019; and the individual routes in respect of which payment was made. [28669/20]

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Heather Humphreys): Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys The Free Scheme is currently available to all people living in the State aged 66 years or over, to carers and to customers under 66 who are in receipt of certain disability type payments. There are currently approximately 978,770 customers in receipt of Free Travel. However, over 1.6 million people currently benefit from the scheme when companion and spousal passes are taken into account.

  The scheme allows those eligible to travel for free on most CIE public transport services, LUAS, and a range of services offered by up to 80 private operators.

  The table below contains the information requested on road passenger transport operators based in counties Cavan, Monaghan and Leitrim. Currently there are no operators in the scheme in counties Longford and Westmeath.

County Operator Route In the FT scheme for years 2015 -2019
Cavan Leydon Coaches Swanlinbar- Cavan & the Cross Border Regular Service Authorisation No. 150 Cavan – Enniskillen. Yes
Cavan Operated by Wharton Travel Limited under contract from the NTA. Cavan-Crossdoney-Arva-Drumlish-Longford (Mon-Sun) Yes
Cavan Sillan Tours Ltd. Cootehill- Shercock- Dublin (Daily except Saturday) Yes
Monaghan Collins Coaches Ballybay-Dublin-Ballybay (Mon-Sun) Yes
Monaghan Matthews Coach Hire Dublin - Dundalk (Mon-Sun) Yes
Monaghan Matthews Coach Hire Grange Rath and Dublin Yes
Monaghan Matthews Coach Hire Drogheda and Dublin city, Grange Rath and the IFSC No ( Joined in March 2017)
Monaghan Matthews Coach Hire Dundalk to Dublin IFSC via Drogheda No ( Joined in March 2017)
Monaghan McConnon Travel Ltd. Monaghan-Dublin (Mon-Sat) Yes
Leitrim Brian Doherty Drumkeerin-Carrick-on-Shannon (Tues only) Yes
Leitrim Westlink Coaches Ltd Drumshanbo-Sligo (Mon-Fri) Yes
  I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment

 540. Deputy Bríd Smith Information on Bríd Smith Zoom on Bríd Smith asked the Minister for Social Protection Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys the number of applicants accepted for payment of the pandemic unemployment payment in August 2020 and separately in September 2020; and the number of these who have been placed on each category of payment, that is, €203, €250 and €300, in tabular form. [28676/20]

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Heather Humphreys): Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys The information requested by the Deputy is set out in the tables following. The numbers refer to the gross inflow of people receiving the payment each week; that is, outflows from the payment have not been taken into account. The dates refer to the date the payment was made.

  From June 29th, the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) was paid at two rates (€203, €350). From September 17th, the PUP has been paid at three rates (€203, €250, €300).

  Table 1: Gross Inflow - August 2020

  04 August 11 August 18 August 25 August
€ 203 668 399 584 6,072
€ 350 5,824 3,271 4,214 1,013
Gross inflow 6,512 3,670 4,798 7,085


  Table 2: Gross Inflow - September 2020
  01 September 08 September 15 September 22 September 29 September
€ 203 653 510 560 695 2,150
€ 250 - - - 707 4,342
€ 300 - - - 4,483 13,038
€ 350 4,362 4,000 4,164 - -
Gross inflow 5,015 4,510 4,724 5,885 19,530

Social Welfare Inspections

 541. Deputy Gary Gannon Information on Gary Gannon Zoom on Gary Gannon asked the Minister for Social Protection Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys her views on whether social welfare inspectors should be able to enter the homes of local authority tenants to carry out unannounced inspections; her further views on whether the home is private and that tenants should be given advance notice of inspections so that they can protect their right to privacy; and if she will make a statement on the matter.  [28233/20]

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Heather Humphreys): Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys Social Welfare Inspectors are appointed under Section 250 of the Social Welfare Consolidation Act 2005 (as amended). They are required to investigate and report on customer’s claims and confirm that scheme conditionality is in order. The powers outline the requirement for a claimant to give an inspector information and any documents that s/he may require for the purposes of an investigation.

As part of their investigations, an inspector's remit also includes the combating of fraud and abuse of the Department's schemes. Inspectors may need to make notified or un-notified home visits. The approach taken in each investigation is determined by the inspector and if home visits, be they un-notified or notified, are deemed to be necessary to determine a person’s eligibility for a particular social welfare scheme, they form part of the overall investigation. Such visits to a customer’s home are an operational control measure and a decision as to whether a home visit is necessary, and whether the customer is notified in advance, will depend on the nature of the case.

Social Welfare Inspectors only enter a private home if invited. There is no statutory power of entry unlike a workplace. If an inspector is refused entry to a private home they may request that the person make themselves available for interview at an alternative agreed location.

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Covid-19 Pandemic Supports

 542. Deputy Denise Mitchell Information on Denise Mitchell Zoom on Denise Mitchell asked the Minister for Social Protection Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys if there are plans to extend the qualifying criteria for the enterprise support grant to include persons in receipt of a State pension who are also working, in view of the fact that such persons were refused the pandemic unemployment payment because of their age.  [28750/20]

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Heather Humphreys): Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys As announced in the July Stimulus package, the enterprise support grant was extended to assist eligible self-employed individuals who exit the Pandemic Unemployment Payment or jobseekers schemes after 18th May 2020 to re-start their business which was closed due to the impact of the pandemic. The Pandemic Unemployment Payment is payable to people of working age up to age 66 years and there are no plans to change this.

Supports are available to businesses from the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation, including a new Micro-Enterprise Assistance Fund which will help businesses with fewer than 10 employees, which are ineligible for existing grants.

I trust that this clarifies the position.


Last Updated: 07/04/2021 15:30:15 First Page Previous Page Page of 120 Next Page Last Page