Sunday 25 August 2019

Fine Gael wants to link level of social welfare payments to PRSI contributions

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. Photo: Frank McGrath
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. Photo: Frank McGrath
Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn

Fine Gael want to link the amount a person gets in jobseekers' benefits and other social welfare payments to the PRSI contributions an individual has made.

The proposal is contained in the party's 'Building a Republic of Opportunity' paper unveiled by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar today.

He said: "What we’d like to move towards is a system we actually had in the past called pay-related benefits."

He said this is "the norm" across Europe where: "if you lose your job... if you become sick, if you go on maternity or paternity leave, instead of just getting the same amount there would be a link between the amount you paid in and the amount that you get."

Mr Varadkar continued: "So if you take somewhere like Denmark or Germany for example if you lose your job in the first couple of weeks you can get up to 60pc or 70pc of your salary while you go looking for a new job.

"In Ireland you only get about €200."

The Taoiseach said Fine Gael wants to change the situation that sees everyone get that "basic minimum".

He said the party isn't suggesting that the basic payment is cut, but added: "we are saying that people who do pay PRSI for ten or twenty or thirty years, when they lose their job, if they go sick, if they need to take maternity leave or paternity leave they should get a little bit more. It is their money after all."

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