Sinn Féin TD and spokesperson on Social Protection, Claire Kerrane, recently introduced a piece of legislation that she said would be transformative for social welfare recipients.
Deputy Kerrane said the Social Welfare Commission Bill would establish a Commission to research and make recommendations annually ahead of the Budget to ensure social welfare rates are adequate by providing a minimum essential standard of living and protection from poverty.
Speaking while introducing the Bill in the Dáil on Wednesday, 25th of November, Deputy Kerrane said: “This Bill, if enacted would be transformative for some of our most vulnerable citizens, including Carers, Persons with a Disability, Lone Parents, Widows and Jobseekers, as well as young Jobseekers currently living on €112 per week”.
She added that the establishment of a Social Welfare Commission would examine the Minimum Essential Standard of Living for various household types who rely on social welfare supports in order to protect those at risk of poverty.
“Currently, weekly social welfare payments are set below the poverty line. This needs to change.
“One of the first lessons learned from a Social Protection perspective when Covid hit was the fact that nobody who lost their job could live on €203 per week. Yet, this is the maximum rate for many social welfare payments,” she said.