Dáil Éireann - Volume 407 - 24 April, 1991

Written Answers. - Social Employment Scheme.

68. Mr. Boylan asked the Minister for Labour if his attention has been drawn to the fact that a single person on a social employment scheme has a take home pay of only £60.98 after deductions which is approximately £8 more than if he was in receipt of unemployment assistance; his views on whether there is no incentive for such young people to avail of these schemes; the measures he hopes to introduce in this Dáil term to improve the incomes of these young unemployed persons; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

Minister for Labour (Mr. B. Ahern): The social employment scheme is targeted at long term unemployed persons who are at least 25 years of age. The current level of payment on the scheme to a person without any dependant is £69 per week while the corresponding unemployment payment to a long term unemployed person is £52 per week. The SES payment rates are pitched higher [1020] than the level of social welfare unemployment payments to compensate for the loss of certain social welfare benefits to which participants would be entitled had they remained on the live register. The scheme is part-time and participants may engage in other activities while not involved in the scheme.

I have no plans to extend the scheme to persons under 25 years of age as this could only be done at the expense of those whom the scheme was designed to assist. I have already advised the House that I intend to carry out a review of the allowances payable under the scheme later this year.