Hints of Welfare Cuts in December 9th Budget

A document published on the Irish Dept of Finance’s website indicates that there may well be cuts in some welfare payments in next week’s budget.

The document mentions that the means test for Jbseeker’s Allowance should  be tightened and that tenants getting rent supplement payment may be moved into  into social housing to eliminate “significant disincentives to work”.

The document, Replacement Rates and Unemployment , says “the net benefit from working may be limited” for some welfare recipients, in particular couples with children and people who receive rent supplement.

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In one case, it found that an out-of-work couple receiving a Dublin rent supplement and other benefits had income that was 102 per cent of that which they would earn if they were working at the national minimum wage.

We recently wrote about average income levels in Ireland – and how out of work housholds had the biggest increase in income between 2007 and 2008.  There are hundreds of job vacancies on the FAS website – yet the unemployment rates are the highest they have been for years. When people can do better on welfare – they will of course not be keen to find a job.