Friday 23 August 2019

600 fewer in public jobs claim welfare

Less than 1pc of the total public sector workforce of 330,500 claim the payment. (Stock picture)
Less than 1pc of the total public sector workforce of 330,500 claim the payment. (Stock picture)

Anne Marie Walsh

The number of public servants depending on social welfare to supplement their salaries has fallen by more than 600 in the last five years.

Figures show they made up 3,310 of recipients last year - down 15pc from 3,902 in 2014.

The number fell to 3,271 last month - 631 fewer.

This means less than 1pc of the total public sector workforce of 330,500 claim the payment.

In contrast, the overall number of people receiving the working family payment is up almost 8pc. The total number of recipients stood at 50,306 in 2014 and rose to 54,116 last year.

Working families are benefiting from the scheme and receive average payments of €135 a week, helping support 120,000 children.

Fianna Fáil spokesperson on social protection and social equality Willie O'Dea said the fall in public sector recipients "relates directly to the unwinding of Fempi legislation, which was used to cut their pay".

This means that public servants will have recouped most of the pay cuts imposed during the recession by the end of next year.

"It is a significant enough drop," said Mr O'Dea. "It shows in certain ways that the legislation to reduce public sector pay didn't have the impact on the state's finances in terms of savings we might think because some availed of this payment".

A Department of Social Protection spokesman said although the number of public servants receiving the payment has dropped, the proportion was relatively static at around 6.2pc over recent years.

Irish Independent

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