Wednesday 1 March 2017

Jobless face dole cut if they skip benefits quiz

Michael Brennan Deputy Political Editor

UNEMPLOYED people who fail to turn up for their interviews will have their benefits cut in much greater numbers -- to avoid social welfare cutbacks.

The revelation comes as the Government has again given an assurance that basic social welfare rates will not be cut in the forthcoming Budget.

Social Protection Minister Joan Burton is under pressure to save hundreds of millions from her annual €21bn budget.

So far, a limited number of those on the dole have had their €188 weekly payments cut by €44-a week -- mostly for failing to turn up for interviews with FAS.

And there have been around 1,000 people who have had their benefits cut off entirely in the first four months of this year for not seeking work or not being available for work.

But Ms Burton's department will be in a position to step up activity in this area from January 1 when employment advisers transfer over from FAS.

Irish Independent

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