Sunday 23 October 2016

Coalition considers dole hike for U-26s

The number of people on the dole dropped by 3,400 last month
The number of people on the dole dropped by 3,400 last month

An increase in the dole for young people is on the table ahead of October's Budget, the Herald has learned.

The Coalition is considering increasing welfare payments for U-26s who agree to enter into training or education programmes.

Such a move could see the restoration of the dole for thousands of young people - two years after it was cut by €44 per week.

Around 13,750 people aged 25 or under were affected by the cuts in their job-seekers' payments as part of Budget 2014. People aged from 22 to 24 had their dole cut from €144 a week to €100, while those who reached 25 received €144 instead of the maximum payment of €188.


There were a number of exceptions for those who took part in a Back to Education programme or the JobBridge internship scheme.

Tanaiste Joan Burton defended the cuts at the time, stating that she wanted to make the social welfare safety net "like a trampoline that's there to lift you up and not just to support you".

But the Herald has learned that the Department of Social Protection has drawn up plans which would see increases for this sector.

The proposals, which have not been brought to Cabinet or the Economic Management Council (EMC) are understood to have been sent to the Department of Finance for consideration.

On Friday, Ms Burton said the Budget is not a "parlour game" whereby TDs can publicly state their preference of measures.

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