1521. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Social Protection the full year cost of increasing all basic social protection payments by €5, €7 and €10, respectively; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 35790/17 asked on 26 Jul 2017 - Social Welfare Benefits Data)

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): I propose to take Questions Nos. 1475, 1521, 1522, 1523 and 1560 together.
The fuel allowance is a payment of €22.50 per week for 26 weeks from October to April, to over 390,000 low income households. This payment assists these households with the higher energy costs that arise in that period. It is a contribution towards the energy costs of a household. It is not intended to meet those costs in full. Only one allowance is paid per hous...

1522. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Social Protection the full year cost of increasing the living alone allowance by €2, €3 and €5, respectively; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 35791/17 asked on 26 Jul 2017 - Social Welfare Benefits Data)

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): I propose to take Questions Nos. 1475, 1521, 1522, 1523 and 1560 together.
The fuel allowance is a payment of €22.50 per week for 26 weeks from October to April, to over 390,000 low income households. This payment assists these households with the higher energy costs that arise in that period. It is a contribution towards the energy costs of a household. It is not intended to meet those costs in full. Only one allowance is paid per hous...

1523. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Social Protection the full year cost of increasing the fuel allowance by €7 and €10, respectively, and extending it by a further six weeks; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 35792/17 asked on 26 Jul 2017 - Social Welfare Benefits Data)

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): I propose to take Questions Nos. 1475, 1521, 1522, 1523 and 1560 together.
The fuel allowance is a payment of €22.50 per week for 26 weeks from October to April, to over 390,000 low income households. This payment assists these households with the higher energy costs that arise in that period. It is a contribution towards the energy costs of a household. It is not intended to meet those costs in full. Only one allowance is paid per hous...

1543. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Social Protection the number of community employment schemes and the overall number of places allocated to community employment by county in tabular form. (Question 36059/17 asked on 26 Jul 2017 - Community Employment Schemes Data)

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): The number of Community Employment projects and the number of current participants and supervisors by county are presented in the following table:
No. of Projects and Participants / Supervisors by County as of 30 June 2017
 County No. of Projects Current Participants Current Supervisors Carlow 15 415 24 Cavan 12 318 17 Clare 25 485 31 Cork 83 1,973 109 Donegal 49 1,098 59 Dublin 222 4,930 372 Galway 65 1,373 85 Ke...

1544. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Social Protection further to Parliamentary Question No. 446 of 12 July 2017 if a person between 21 and 24 years of age currently on the €102.70 or €147.80 rate of jobseeker’s allowance will receive the full rate of €215.50 if they commence a community employment placement; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 36060/17 asked on 26 Jul 2017 - Jobseeker’s Allowance Payments)

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): Community Employment (CE) is an active labour market programme with the emphasis on progression into employment and/or further education and training. The main cohort of CE participants is made up of the long-term unemployed in receipt of jobseekers allowance.
The minimum weekly payment for CE participants based on 19.5 hours worked is €215.50 with effect from 13 March 2017.
If the actual social welfare payment a participant was getting wa...

1545. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Social Protection the number of beneficiaries and the spending on the family income supplement scheme in each of the years 2012 to 2016 and to date in 2017 in tabular form. (Question 36061/17 asked on 26 Jul 2017 - Family Income Supplement Data)

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): At the end of June 2017, there were 57,050 families in receipt of Family Income Supplement (FIS). The estimated expenditure for FIS for 2017 is €422.5m. The expenditure to the end of June 2017 was €232.1m.
The following table sets out the number of beneficiaries and the spending on the family income supplement scheme in each of the years 2012 to 2016 and to date in 2017:
Family Income Supplement (FIS)
 Year Expenditure € millionRec...

1546. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Social Protection the projected underspend in the Gateway scheme in 2017; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 36062/17 asked on 26 Jul 2017 - Departmental Expenditure)

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): I propose to take Questions Nos. 1525, 1546 and 1547 together.
The Gateway Initiative was introduced in 2013 at a time of high unemployment in Ireland. It is administered through the local authorities and is one of a number of work programmes that my Department operates. Given the capacity in the system at present through the other employment schemes such as Community Employment ( CE), Tús and the Rural Social Scheme ( RSS) and the contin...

1547. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Social Protection if the underspend in programmes to support persons that are unemployed such as Gateway will be reinvested in other schemes or measures to reduce unemployment; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 36063/17 asked on 26 Jul 2017 - Departmental Expenditure)

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): I propose to take Questions Nos. 1525, 1546 and 1547 together.
The Gateway Initiative was introduced in 2013 at a time of high unemployment in Ireland. It is administered through the local authorities and is one of a number of work programmes that my Department operates. Given the capacity in the system at present through the other employment schemes such as Community Employment ( CE), Tús and the Rural Social Scheme ( RSS) and the contin...

1190. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Social Protection if a person’s mortgage repayments are taken into account when calculating a person’s allowance entitlement as part of the family income supplement; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 33907/17 asked on 13 Jul 2017 - Family Income Supplement Eligibility)

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): One of the qualifying conditions for Family Income Supplement (FIS) is that the weekly family income must be less than a set limit for their family size. 
Weekly Family Income is the amount of all income received in a week by a family. Examples of family income are earnings, social welfare payments, maintenance payments, income from self-employment, rental income, farm income or any contribution to your household from an ex-spouse, ex-civi...

441. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Social Protection the functions which her Department has or will assume from the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation following the appointment of the new Government; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 33512/17 asked on 12 Jul 2017 - Departmental Functions)

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): Following the announcement by An Taoiseach on 14 June of the transfer of labour affairs and labour law responsibilities from the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation to the Department of Social Protection, the process of identifying the functional areas, staff and resources that will transfer to my Department has begun. This is being done in accordance with the Transfer of Functions Guidelines and Best Practice Handbook, published...

442. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Social Protection the position regarding the development and introduction of a new scheme to replace JobBridge; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 33513/17 asked on 12 Jul 2017 - Job Initiatives)

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): JobBridge was introduced in July 2011 in response to the sharp and dramatic increase in unemployment. A robust external evaluation of the scheme conducted by Indecon Economic Consultants in 2016 found that it is one of the most effective labour market programmes – increasing participants’ employment outcomes by 32%. It also found that while participants rated the scheme positively on 18 out of 20 aspects measured, most were dissatisfied w...

443. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Social Protection the number of young persons under 26 years of age who have applied for and been eligible for the JobsPlus scheme since its introduction, by county, in tabular form (Question 33514/17 asked on 12 Jul 2017 - JobsPlus Scheme)

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): JobsPlus provides a direct monthly financial incentive to employers who recruit employees from the Live Register and those transitioning into employment. It provides employers with two levels of payment - €7,500 or €10,000 over two years - paid in monthly instalments provided the employment is maintained. The rate of payment depends on the length of time the person is unemployed. 
The number of persons under 26 years of age who have applie...

444. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Social Protection if her Department has carried out an analysis or evaluation of the JobsPlus scheme to ascertain if employers subsidised under the scheme have retained staff in the period after the subsidy is withdrawn; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 33515/17 asked on 12 Jul 2017 - JobsPlus Scheme)

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): As the Deputy is aware, the JobsPlus incentive is designed to encourage employers and businesses to focus their recruitment efforts on those who have been out of work for long periods, or on young people seeking employment. It provides employers with two levels of payment - €7,500 or €10,000 - over two years, paid in monthly instalments, provided the employment is maintained. The rate of payment depends on the length of time the person em...

445. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Social Protection the number of young persons aged 18 to 21 and 22 to 24 years of age respectively on a community employment scheme; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 33516/17 asked on 12 Jul 2017 - Community Employment Schemes Data)

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): The number of persons aged 18 to 21 and 22 to 24 years respectively, currently participating on CE are presented in tabular format below.
Community Employment figures as at end of March 2017
 Age Total number of Participants 18-21 340 22-24 591 Total 931 
 ...

446. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Social Protection if she will consider widening eligibility to the community employment schemes for young persons under 25 years of age who are on a social welfare payment for 12 months or more; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 33517/17 asked on 12 Jul 2017 - Community Employment Schemes Eligibility)

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): Following the publication of my Department’s Report - An Analysis of the Community Employment Programme – earlier in the year, the Government approved a number of changes to the terms and conditions around participation on Community Employment (CE). The main purpose of these changes is to broaden the availability of CE to a greater number of people on the live register and to standardise other conditions around the length of time a person ...

447. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Social Protection the number of young persons under 26 years of age who are in receipt of disability allowance; the number of males and females in receipt of this payment in this age cohort; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 33518/17 asked on 12 Jul 2017 - Disability Allowance Data)

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): The following table is a breakdown of persons in receipt of disability allowance (DA) under 26 years of age at the end of June 2017.
 Male under 26 Female under 26 Total number of DA recipients under 26 10,969 6,856 17,825 

I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.
 ...

448. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Social Protection the number of young persons under 26 years of age who are in receipt of the one-parent family payment; the number of males and females in receipt of this payment in this age cohort; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 33519/17 asked on 12 Jul 2017 - One-Parent Family Payment Data)

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): The information requested by the Deputy is detailed in the following table.
Number of Recipients of One Parent Family Payment under 26 years of age at end of June 2017
 Age Male Female 15 0 6 16 0 35 17 0 80 18 1 204 19 0 435 20 1 652 21 2 955 22 1 1,245 23 5 1,687 24 6 1,887 25 6 2,106 
 ...

449. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Social Protection the projected funding provided for the family income supplement scheme in 2017; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 33520/17 asked on 12 Jul 2017 - Family Income Supplement Expenditure)

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): The Family Income Supplement (FIS) is an in-work support, which provides an income top-up for employees on low earnings with children. FIS is designed to prevent in-work poverty for low paid workers with child dependants and to offer a financial incentive to take-up employment. There are currently almost 57,000 families with more than 126,000 children in receipt of FIS. The Revised Estimates for Public Services 2017provides for expenditu...

752. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Social Protection the estimated cost in 2018 if the fuel allowance was increased by €4 per week and €5 per week respectively; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 32589/17 asked on 11 Jul 2017 - Fuel Allowance Data)

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): The full year cost of increasing the fuel allowance, currently payable at €22.50 per week, by €4 per week and €5 per week for the duration of the fuel season is estimated to be €40.7 million and €50.9 million respectively in 2018. 
It should be noted that these costings are subject to change over the coming months in the context of emerging trends and associated revision of the estimated numbers of recipients for 2018.
 ...

574. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Social Protection the number of persons refused a State pension (non-contributory) in 2015, 2016 and to date in 2017; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 30809/17 asked on 04 Jul 2017 - State Pension (Non-Contributory) Data)

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): The statistics the Deputy has requested are not readily available. The data are being assembled and will be sent to the Deputy as soon as possible.
 ...

2034. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Social Protection the current waiting time for domiciliary care allowance appeals; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 27687/17 asked on 20 Jun 2017 - Social Welfare Appeals Data)

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): I propose to take Questions Nos. 2034 and 2035 together.
The current processing times for all social welfare appeals, including domiciliary care allowance appeals, are outlined in the following table below. 
The time taken to process an appeal reflects all aspects of the appeal process including the time spent in the Department preparing the appeal submission. The quasi-judicial nature of the system impacts on appeal processing times whic...

2035. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Social Protection the current waiting time for all social welfare appeals; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 27688/17 asked on 20 Jun 2017 - Social Welfare Appeals Data)

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): I propose to take Questions Nos. 2034 and 2035 together.
The current processing times for all social welfare appeals, including domiciliary care allowance appeals, are outlined in the following table below. 
The time taken to process an appeal reflects all aspects of the appeal process including the time spent in the Department preparing the appeal submission. The quasi-judicial nature of the system impacts on appeal processing times whic...

2036. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Social Protection the full year cost of increasing the 85% Christmas welfare bonus to 100%; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 27689/17 asked on 20 Jun 2017 - Social Welfare Benefits)

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): The Christmas Bonus was abolished in 2009, partially reintroduced in 2014 with the payment of a 25% Bonus, and increased to a 75% Bonus payment in 2015. Last December, an 85% Bonus was paid to some 1.2 million long-term social welfare recipients, including pensioners, people with disabilities, carers and the long-term unemployed, in recognition of their financial dependence on their social welfare payments for all or most of their income. ...

2112. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Social Protection the estimated cost of increasing fuel allowance by €6.50 back to 2010 levels; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 28989/17 asked on 20 Jun 2017 - Fuel Allowance Data)

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): I propose to take Questions Nos. 2075, 2102, 2112, 2129 and 2130 together.
The full year cost of increasing the fuel allowance by €6.50 per week, from €22.50 to €29 per week, for the duration of the fuel season is estimated to be €66 million in 2018. 
The full year cost of increasing the living alone allowance by €6, from €9 to €15.00 per week, is estimated to be €62.5 million in 2018.
The full year cost of increasing all payments, other t...

2113. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Social Protection the estimated cost of increasing the income disregard for one parent family payment and jobseeker’s transition payment to €146.50; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 28991/17 asked on 20 Jun 2017 - One-Parent Family Payment Data)

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): I propose to take Questions Nos. 2078, 2084, 2113 and 2120 together.
The cost of increasing the One Parent Family Payment and the Jobseeker’s Transitional Payment earnings disregard from €110 per week to €146.50 per week is set out in tabular form below:
 Scheme Increase income disregard to: Approximate cost to the Exchequer in a full year One Parent Family Payment €146.50 a week €11.1 million Jobseeker’s Transitional Payment €...