Jobseekers' Benefit is inadequate, says report

Wednesday 05 December 2012 11.37
Jobseekers' Benefit is inadequate, says report

A report funded by the Department of Social Protection suggests that the majority of families dependent on Jobseeker's Benefit do not have an adequate income for a basic standard of living.

One of the authors of the report said because the minimum wage and social welfare payments are not linked to what is needed for a basic standard of living, poverty and social exclusion will continue in Ireland.

The report based its findings on the United Nations definition of a minimum standard of living, which is described as one which meets a person's physical, psychological, spiritual and social needs.

Different types of households were assessed, including a single person living alone, a two-parent household with two children and a pensioner couple.

In the case of a family where both parents are unemployed and dependent on jobseeker's benefit, most families have an inadequate income for a basic standard of living.

The findings suggest that in families where two parents with two children have one parent working full-time earning the minimum wage, that they are not meeting the basic standard of living.

Where one parent is working full-time and one part-time earning the minimum wage, their income is also inadequate for what is defined as a basic standard of living.

The report was carried out by the Policy Institute at Trinity College Dublin and was funded by the Department of Social Protection.

One of the authors, Dr Michéal Collins, says its findings are a useful benchmark to assess the adequacy of welfare payments and the minimum wage and could be relevant when considering how households can manage their debts.