PEOPLE on the dole are to be told for the first time how much more they could earn at work – in an effort to convince them that "work can pay".
A new online calculator is being launched this month, which will compare their earnings from the social welfare system to what they could earn at work.
And people will be given a paper copy of their own "better off at work" statement when they go for a one-on-one interview with their social welfare case officer.
It is aimed at those on the dole who believe that it is not worth their while to find work – rather than the hundreds of thousands who are desperately trying to find work.
A spokesman for the Department of Social Protection insisted that most people on the dole already had a strong financial incentive to find work.
"The vast majority of those on the live register receive only a single personal weekly payment of €188 or less and no additional benefits of any kind. Those individuals, therefore, have a very strong incentive to work," he said.
The new "better off in work" calculator will allow people on the dole to input their own personal details and compare their social welfare benefits to the potential salaries and supports they could get in the workplace.
It will explain where they would still be able to claim certain benefits even after returning to work. These include the weekly, tax-free Family Income Supplement payment, which is being given to 40,000 families with low earnings at a cost of €260m this year.