Groups want €7 rise in social welfare and State pension in Budget

Groups want €7 rise in social welfare and State pension in Budget
Fr Sean Healy says the €350 PUP payment proved the current jobseeker's rate of €203 is inadequate. Picture: Denis Minihane

Minimum social welfare rates should increase by €7 in Budget 2021, according to Social Justice Ireland.

The organisation will propose the rise to the Social Protection Minister at a pre-Budget forum today.

It wants a three-year target for Government to reach the benchmark of 27.5% of average earnings.

Chief executive Sean Healy says the €350 PUP payment proved the current jobseeker's rate of €203 is inadequate.

He said: "The decision by the Government to pay the €350 pandemic payment when the pandemic originally hit, showed very clearly there wasn't enough money in the standard welfare rate of €203 a week that was being paid."

Meanwhile, the organisation that supports older people, Alone, has proposed that a €7 rise to the State pension be implemented in the Budget.

Chief executive Sean Moynihan said many older people are living too close to the poverty line.

Mr Moynihan said: "So we see every day the basics of people just living on the basic pension, which can be tough.

"On top of that, every two or three years thee has been a big increase in the number of older people at risk of poverty and we want to lift the numbers of people who are at risk of poverty and those in poverty out of poverty so that people in their old age have a standard and a quality of life that we would all aspire to when we get old."

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