Sinn Féin spokesperson for Employment Affairs & Social Protection John Brady TD has highlighted the fact that despite jobseekers aged 25 moving to the full rate of payment, the vast majority of jobseekers aged 18-24 will remain on a pitiful €112.70 per week.
Speaking in response to a reply to a Parliamentary Question, Teachta Brady said:
“Budget 2020 included an increase for certain young jobseekers aged 18-24 who have been on reduced rates of jobseeker’s payments since 2009, to the full rate of €203 in 2020. However, the actual number of those who will benefit from this measure is tiny.
“Of the 16,100 young jobseekers who are in receipt of reduced rates of jobseeker payments, all 1,780 who are aged 25 will see their payment increase to the full rate. That leaves 14,320 18-24 year olds on reduced rates of which only 300 will receive the full rate from 2020. That is according to Minister Doherty in a recent reply to me.
“The increase to the full rate for those young jobseekers aged 18-24 will only go to those living independently and in receipt of State housing supports. Of course, we know that very few people receiving €112.70 per week could afford to live independently.
“Basically, Minister Doherty has replaced one condition with another.
“The increase announced in Budget 2020 will benefit the smallest number of young jobseekers possible. The rest will remain on a paltry €112.70 and will only see an increase to the full rate if they live independently and receive State housing support.
“Sinn Féin reiterate our commitment to restore all jobseekers to the full rate of payment, regardless of their age or living situation.”