Tuesday 20 February 2018

14 people a week get dole cut for not actively seeking job

Craig Hughes

MORE than 14 people a week are having their welfare payments reduced for failing to comply with the Department of Social Protection.

In total, 841 people have received a reduction of €44 in their jobseekers-allowance payment, according to figures for April 2011 to May 2012.

They have been hit for failing to comply with the National Employment Action Plan or refusing a training offer.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Social Protection said that an increased effort has been put into targeting those who are deliberately not pursuing employment.

"The Department of Social Protection meets with those on the jobseekers' allowance once a month and requests that they prove how they are actively seeking employment.

Fine

"We appreciate that in some cases people genuinely are unable to attend on a particular day and we understand that. However, in cases where we see that people are prolific offenders, we will impose the €44 fine," she said.

"If a person re-engages or makes an effort they can be put back on the full rate again," she added.

Earlier this month, the ESRI withdrew a report into the cost of going to work which suggested that up to 44pc of people with children would be better off on the dole rather than working.

The ESRI Cost of Living Report stated that working people incur five times the expenses as unemployed people, with them having to pay those expenses from after-tax income.

The standard jobseekers' allowance for someone over 25 is €188, with additional payments available for dependents.

Those under 25 receive a payment of between €100-€144 a week depending on their age.

Latest figures from the Central Statistics Office show that 432,907 people are in receipt of the jobseekers' allowance payment.

Irish Independent

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