Thousands Of Clare People To Benefit From Social Welfare Increases

From: Dunphy Public Relations
Published: Tue Jan 06 2009

The Clare T.D. said the increases were an example of the Government targeting resources at those who needed them most. He noted that one third of day to day expenditure in 2009 by the Government would be on social welfare schemes

"The Social Welfare rate increases that were announced as part of a EUR19.5 billion Social Welfare Budget for 2009 are targeted at those who are most in need of our support – pensioners, families dependent on social welfare payments and those seeking employment," he explained.

Minister Killeen added, "At a time when public expenditure must be tightly controlled the EUR515 million package of social welfare improvements being provided for Social Welfare this year is a clear signal of the Government’s commitment to protect the vulnerable and less well-off in society."

From this week, pensioners will see an increase of EUR7 per week in the maximum personal rate for all state pensioners – Contributory and Non-Contributory. This will bring the new maximum personal weekly rates to EUR230.30 and EUR219 respectively. Increases for Qualified Adults range from EUR4.30 to EUR6.30 per week for those aged over 66 years of age.

"The resources available are also being targeted at those in receipt of fuel allowance," added Minister Killeen.

"In the budget the Government for an 11% increase in the value of the Fuel Allowance bringing it to EUR20 per week and this too will be payable from this week. The Fuel Allowance scheme has also been extended by another two weeks from April 2009, bringing it to 32 weeks in total."

This coming year will see over EUR260 million extra in targeted support for people of working age, claiming Jobseeker’s Benefit or Allowance - which increase by €6.50 per week to EUR 204.30 per week from January 2009 with proportionate increases for those people on reduced rates.

There are also targeted increases for families in receipt of a social welfare payment or low income earners with children. People getting a social welfare payment that have dependent children currently get an extra EUR24 per week for each child on top of their basic social welfare payment. From this week this rate is being increased by EUR2 to EUR26.

The payment for people in work on low earnings, Family Income Supplement available from the Department of Social and Family Affairs, will see the earnings threshold increase by EUR10 per child, which will mean an average extra payment of EUR6 per child per week.

The increases in the rates of payments for recipients of Jobseeker’s Benefit and Allowance, Farm Assist, Illness/Maternity Benefit, One Parent Family Payment, Family Income Supplement, Carer’s Benefit and Supplementary Allowance and for those customers paid by electronic methods will be paid in full from January. As in previous years those customers who are paid through a book method - such as recipients of certain long-term payments such as Widows/Widowers, Carer’s Allowance and Invalidity Pension - will receive their increase in mid-February backdated to January.

In some cases (such as Disability Allowance and the State Pension) a special once-off payment in mid February to cover 12 weeks payment to end-March will also be paid to customers whose books are due for renewal at the beginning of April.

The increases, which will cost EUR515 million in 2009, apply to full rate payments, with proportionate increase for people on reduced rates.

"Spending on social welfare schemes is estimated at over EUR19.5 billion in 2009. This means that one third of day to day expenditure in 2009 by the Government will be on social welfare schemes," concluded Minister Killeen.


Mark Dunphy
Dunphy Public Relations
Company: Dunphy Public Relations
Contact Name: Dunphy Public Relations
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