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Leo wants to link dole payments to a person's PRSI contributions

The Taoiseach plans to set up a Gender Equality Commission.

Image: Eamonn Farrell

TAOISEACH LEO VARADKAR may link dole payments to people’s past working history and PRSI contributions.

The details of the social welfare payments plan feature in the Fine Gael’s new ‘manifesto for the future’ which will be published later today.

Last night, during his first speech as Fine Gael leader at his party’s conference in Cavan, Varadkar said he plans to cut income tax for middle-income earners by increasing the standard cut-off rate.

He also announced plans to roll out a family paid leave as well as a reformed social insurance system to provide sick pay for people who have to take time off work to care for loved ones who are seriously ill.

“We are determined to make it a reality. Because the family is the basic unit of society,” said Varadkar.

The proposed new dole scheme would see those who have been in long-term employment entitled to a higher payment.

The plan would adversely impact on long-term unemployed people who would not have the same PRSI contribution as someone who has been in the workforce for a significant amount of time.

Similar social insurance contribution schemes exist in other countries in Europe.

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In addition to dole reform, Varadkar also sets out in his new document that he plans to establish a Gender Equality Commission.

It’s envisaged the new commission will be tasked at reviewing inequalities between men and women in Ireland, spanning a number of areas.

Read: Leo Varadkar has been criticised for calling houses starting at €315,000 ‘affordable’

Read: 16 people in a single bedroom, 64 people renting a house: Documentary shows state of Ireland’s rental ‘nightmares’

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