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Jobseeker payments expenditure to fall by as much as 20 per cent

The spend in 2014 is expected to be close to half of what it was in 2011.

Image: Photocall Ireland

THE AMOUNT THE government pays out in Jobseeker’s payments is expected to fall by between 10 and 20 per cent this year, new figures show.

Released by the Department of Social Protection in response to a dáil question from Fine Gael TD Brendan Griffin, data shows that the government spent an estimated €3 billion on Jobseeker’s Allowance in 2013, a rise of over 2 per cent from the year previous.

The estimate for this year stands at just over €2.8 billion, a fall of 9 per cent.

Jobseeker’s Allowance is a means-tested payment, received when a claimant hasn’t built up sufficient PRSI contributions.

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When enough contributions have been paid in the past, Jobseeker’s Benefit can be received.

It offers a higher weekly rate, but fewer people are eligible for this payment. The government paid out €564 million in Jobseeker’s Benefit last year – a figure expected to fall by €100 million this year.

The figures released show a fall since 2011 to 2014 of over €470,000,00, from a peak of €926,900,000.

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In Budget 2014, Jobseeker’s Allowance was reduced to €100 for people aged 24 and under who are new claimants from the start of next year.

Those already receiving payments were unaffected.

Another reduced rate of €144 will apply to jobseekers who reach 25 from January next year.

Read: Dole cut for long-term unemployed who refuse to work in local authorities >

More: 250,000 households have less than €15,000 a year to live on >

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Nicky Ryan

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