Saturday 20 January 2018

State pays €1,763 a week in benefits to family of six

Greg Harkin

A LABOUR senator has questioned the need for massive social welfare payments to many families after revealing yesterday that some are receiving €90,000 a year.

Senator Jimmy Harte highlighted the case of one family who are being paid €1,763 per week.

The unemployed married couple, who have four children and live in Dublin, claim a range of social welfare benefits.

Mr Harte, who received the information from Department of Social Protection officials, said €50,000 is more than enough for a family to survive on.

The Donegal-based senator told the Irish Independent yesterday that he believed the figure was far too much to be handed to a family in support payments.

"The family are doing nothing illegal but the system is wrong when a couple are able to receive €90,000 per year for doing nothing. I don't think this sort of payment is acceptable in the good times, never mind the bad times we find ourselves in now.

"There are married couples in this country with two good jobs, working very hard and are not receiving anything like this.

"As well as receiving €90,000, they will not have to pay property tax or water charges. That is just wrong.

"You would need to be earning close to €140,000 to take that sort of money home after tax.

"This is a Dublin-based family but I know there are families in other counties receiving up to €85,000. They won't take in as much in rent allowance but they are still entitled to all the other payments," he said.

According to figures obtained by Mr Harte, the following is the weekly breakdown of the social welfare payments received by the family: father on disability allowance, €322; guardian's pension for child taken in, €286; rent supplement, €276; mother -- carer's allowance, €380; child benefit, €288; daughter (17) with special needs, €211.

Mr Harte said he has forwarded all this information on to the Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton and wants a cap put on welfare payments.

Irish Independent

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