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Social welfare legislation to open Jobseeker’s Benefit to the self employed

People who are self-employed will be able to make use of Jobseeker’s Benefits under new social welfare legislation in the pipeline.

The Social Welfare Bill 2019 which recently approved by the cabinet would provide social insurance scheme for people running their own business or setting up a new one.

The government said in Budget 2019 that self-employed people would be able to access Jobseeker’s Benefits while out of work, but that has yet to be implemented.

Under the Social Welfare Bill 2019 benefits for self employed people would be available from November.

“This new legislation will reform the system so that everyone who contributes to the Social Insurance Fund can receive support if and when it’s needed,” said Galway West TD and Minister Seán Kyne.

“In particular, the legislation creates a new category of Jobseeker’s Benefit for the self-employed which comes into effect in cases where businesses do not work out.”

Under the text of the bill self-employed people will be able to receive €203 in welfare a week, the same level as paid employees.

Payments, including increases for qualified adults and children will also be made in line with that in place for the existing Jobseeker’s Benefit.

The government is estimating that roughly 1,000 people could avail of the scheme in 2019, while in a full year it could benefit in the region of 6,500 people.

It’s expected that this will cost roughly €31 per year, but a financial memorandum attached to the legislation says that this will be offset by “reductions in expenditure on the Jobseeker’s Allowance scheme”.

“In effect his legislation is about fairness,” Seán Kyne said, “It is about recognising the risk that self employed people take up by setting up new local businesses and creating jobs and its about providing support in difficult times when plans do not work out.”

Briain Kelly
Email: news@galwaydaily.com
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