Welfare 'calculator' does the sums
THE 'Ready Reckoner' tool on welfare.ie lets consumers input their current welfare entitlements and proposed pay rate and then calculates their net income from each.
It automatically adds on any family income supplement (FIS) payments they would be entitled to if their wages are low.
This tool shows that for a single person on the €188 a week jobseekers allowance, a full-time job on the minimum wage would leave them with €329 take-home pay, meaning they'd be €141 better off than if they stayed on the dole.
For a couple with two children, it shows they would be €16 a week better off with one partner in a minimum wage job (€496) than on the dole (€480). This is because though they would lose rent supplement of (typically) €108 a week, they would get a FIS payment of €161 to bolster wages.
But if they were on the maximum rate of rent supplement -- €190 a week in Dublin, they would be €66 better off on benefits, with an income of €562 versus €496 in work -- showing how welfare traps can emerge.
The calculator does not take account of the costs of working, such as travel and childcare.