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You might have missed this about the Social Welfare Bill 2010 May 29, 2010

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Politics.

Many thanks to the person who sent me this…

The Social Welfare (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2010 was published today (Friday 28 May 2010). The Bill is available to view on http://www.oireachtas.ie/

The Bill provides for a number of measures including changes to the One-Parent Family Payment to reduce, from April 2011, the qualifying age for receipt of the payment to when the youngest child reaches the age of 13. This section also provides for transitional arrangements for current recipients of the One-Parent Family Payment (see Note).

The Bill also provides for a specific disqualification for receipt of Jobseeker’s Allowance where the person refuses an offer of suitable employment. It also provides for a reduced rate of Jobseeker’s Allowance or Supplementary Welfare Allowance for claimants who refuse to participate in an appropriate course of training or to participate in a programme under the National Employment Action Plan.

The Bill also provides for:

* The Minister to appoint persons other than serving staff to be appeals officers. This section will allow for the employment, on a temporary basis, of retired appeals officers, as appeals officers to clear backlogs in the Social Welfare Appeals Office.
* The publication of the names, addresses, fines and other penalties of persons who have been convicted of offences under Social Welfare legislation.

The Bill will be debated in both Houses of the Oireachtas in June and early July.

Note: Currently the Department’s One-Parent Family Payment is payable until the youngest child reaches 18 or 22 if in full-time education, where means and other conditions are met. Under the amended scheme, payment will be made until the youngest child in a lone parent family reaches age 13.

There will also be special provisions for families with children for whom Domiciliary Care Allowance is paid as well as for both married and co-habiting persons who are recently bereaved and who have children aged 13 years or older. (The Domiciliary Care Allowance is a monthly payment made to the carer of a child with a severe disability who lives at home). The new provisions will be introduced from April 2011, with transition arrangements in place for existing recipients.

These changes will bring Ireland’s support for lone parents more in line with international provisions, where there is a general movement away from long term and passive income support. The EU countries that are achieving the best outcomes in terms of tackling child poverty are those that are combining strategies aimed at facilitating access to employment and enabling services (e.g. child care) with income support.

See http://www.oireachtas.ie/ for a copy of the Bill and an accompanying explanatory memo.

Some reaction here.


1. sonofstan - May 29, 2010

Can’t help thinking the gloves are off – FF are behaving like a lame duck administration that knows its heading for opposition, so they might as well lay up problems for their successors…..

On which note, a leak of tomorrow’s RedC poll:

FF 24 up 2.
FG 30 Down 3
Lab 22 Down 1

(on P.ie – no figure for SF)


WorldbyStorm - May 29, 2010

Interesting figures if true. A lot of churn on the edge of votes. I’m also interested in the GP vote as well as SF. And the Indo’s.

Re the gloves off. Yep. It’s getting like that isn’t it?

Actually that FG vote is pretty bad – Kenny won’t like that. But where are the other votes going I wonder?


sonofstan - May 29, 2010

SF on 10% as reported now on RTE.

Just saw Jack O’Connor coming out strongly against the ‘workfare’ initiative outlined above – and yet he supports Croke Park….


2. irishelectionliterature - May 29, 2010

God Almighty, this is low. Did they ever hear about teenagers being costly, do they have any idea that there are little or no jobs out there? (Hope to f*** the lot of them will be on the dole queue sooner rather than later -mind you that will be cushioned by their array of parachute payments and pensions)

I was talking to a secondary teacher , who teaches in a school where a third of the pupils are from one parent families and she was seething with anger at this move and she’d be no Socialist. There are kids without books, uniforms, pens, copies because of existing cutbacks. Kids who don’t have the two euro to go with the school to watch the school team play a final in Parnell or Croke Park. Never mind having money for any other activities.
Its so basic that bundles of pens are bought by teachers, teachers are also putting their hands into their own already overstretched pockets so pupils can take part in certain activities.

Part of the problem here and for other issues, is that the Middle Classes are not truly exposed to vast parts of society (and vice versa). They would of course know, or know of, some single parents ( and there is still a stigma attached to it in certain quarters too), but it wouldn’t be Mary in Jobstown they knew it would be someone from their own circle.

I looks to me as if they are going to cut the hell out of anything but the Pensions, because its the pensioners that vote and have a voice.

I was talking to a Cowenite (I didn’t know the chaps views beforehand) last night and it was the same old “sure the other crowd couldn’t do any better” arguement……..
Its a sad ,sad state of affairs that they can go up 2% in the polls.


WorldbyStorm - May 30, 2010

I was saying to the person who sent this that there are progressive policies which would one would hope assist those who needed to into employment. But that would be where the childcare/support issues were entirely clear. Here – in this state – they’re not. And it’s as you say IEL, it’s a freakin’ recession where there are few enough jobs.

I think you’re right that it is an ignorance on the part of people. I don’t think it’s malign in the main. But the outcome of such attitudes is malign.

My only consolation is that the 2% is within the margin of error.


3. yobbah - May 30, 2010

Public sector workers will be blamed for this. Can’t wait to see the Sunday Independent tomorrow.


WorldbyStorm - May 30, 2010

If you see anything I’ve missed tell us because I can only read so much of it! 😦


4. sonofstan - May 30, 2010

I think you’re right that it is an ignorance on the part of people. I don’t think it’s malign in the main.

Dunno….I’ve heard people, supposedly intelligent middle-class people, products of our ‘world-class’ universities, say that ‘knackers’ have babies just to get a house and benefits, and that you ‘shouldn’t be allowed’ have a baby unless you can show that you can support it.


WorldbyStorm - May 30, 2010

Well, there’s that of course. And that’s pretty malign.


5. Wednesday - May 30, 2010

We received an email in the office last week from someone saying that Back to Education Allowance should be cut because it was just a giveaway for “non-nationals” (what a horrible, hateful term) and lazy Irish who don’t want to actually work. What do you say to these people?


sonofstan - May 30, 2010

From the evidence on this site the BTEA would seem to breed socialism and an unwillingness to recognise that ‘we are where we are’ – down with it I say!


WorldbyStorm - May 30, 2010

I was talking to someone recently who was sort of musing on the idea that welfare should only be available for a limited time ‘like in some other EU countries’. I had to point out that there’s just the small matter that there happens to be a massive unemployment crisis and that blaming people on welfare for being on welfare when there’s no work was sort of reversing the reality of the dynamic.

But my sense was precisely yours Wednesday of ‘what the feck do I say?’.


6. Tomboktu - May 30, 2010

Why are you worried? Hasn’t Mary Hanafin said that this will help lone parents? With that reasurance, you can stop worrying now.


WorldbyStorm - May 30, 2010

Yeah, I guess there’s that…

😉 or 😦


7. Dr. X - May 30, 2010

I think Sam Beckett said it best.

‘Bastards. Bastards’.


WorldbyStorm - May 30, 2010

Nicely put.


8. shea - May 30, 2010

shows up the crocodile tears for danial mcanaspie and putting childrens rights into the constitution.

have been watching a christian get up on a soap box on henry street each saturday for the last year. started of with no one listening to him, then crowds gathering, now he appears to be training his own disiples in. would imagine this is how the socialists of old engaged with the people. maybe maybe not.


WorldbyStorm - May 30, 2010

Yep, you’re right. At best contradictory, at worst hypocritical.


sonofstan - May 30, 2010

Worse than that – the failures of the care system will be highlighted, not so that the system might be improved, but to show that it’s not worth investing in such services, because they don’t work. The temporary media frenzy over this won’t make the jobs of social workers in child protection services any easier – all it will do is subject them to more paperwork in order to make them vulnerable to being held individually accountable for the effects of policy failure.


9. Crocodile - May 31, 2010

We can expect more kites about social welfare cuts to be flown between now and the budget, for two reasons:
because there is a school of thought that genuinely thinks that Irish benefits are over-generous ( they always use sentences including the words ‘our nearest neighbours…’)
and because it’s a sword to hold over the heads of public servants (‘you don’t want welfare cuts? It’ll have to come out of wages, then’).
Already in this morning’s papers there are reports that cabinet ministers are ‘battling’ to preserve their budgets. Yeah, right.


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