Saturday 21 April 2018

Varadkar urged to raise dole for people recently made redundant to help with search for new job

Social Protection Minister Leo Varadkar Photo: Damien Eagers
Social Protection Minister Leo Varadkar Photo: Damien Eagers
Niall O'Connor

Niall O'Connor

Increasing the dole for people recently made redundant may allow them to "hold out" for more stable job opportunities, Social Protection Minister Leo Varadkar has been told.

Officials in Mr Varadkar's department have recommended setting the weekly rate of jobseeker's benefit at €215 for the first three months of unemployment.

Under the plan, the payment would reduce to €200 for the next three months before reverting to the standard rate of €188 beyond the six-month mark.

According to a briefing document released under the Freedom of Information Act, the reform measures would cost €29.5m per year.

A department working group has told Mr Varadkar that the move should be considered as a "medium-term policy objective" and would represent a "desirable feature of a reformed system".

The group outlined a series of arguments for setting the dole at a higher rate for those recently made redundant.

Such a move "further rewards an established connection to the workforce" and "cushions the drop in household income" caused as a result of being made unemployed.

"It funds job searching and may help people hold out for more suitable and, hence, more stable job matches," the document states.

"In this way, it can help to reduce exposure to social risks arising from changing labour market dynamics."

Irish Independent

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