Thomas Pringle TD

Pringle confirms Minister’s Report into Seasonal Workers in Donegal due shortly

Thomas Dáil general

Press Release * March 6th, 2017

*

The report is expected to be ready by the end of March/early April according to Minister Varadkar’s reply to Deputy Pringle’s Parliamentary Question.

The Report is in response to Deputy Pringle’s amendment during the Report Stage of the Social Welfare Bill 2016 which sought a Report into the eligibility criteria of certain social welfare payments and the effects they were having on seasonal workers across the country, particularly in Donegal. The amendment was voted down by the Government while Fianna Fáil abstained.

The Minister did agree however, to undertake the exercise with a timeframe of four months. Minister Varadkar has since confirmed in his reply to Deputy Pringle’s Parliamentary Question that the report is expected to be ready by the end of the month or early April and will be presented to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Social Protection for their consideration.

“My amendment called on the Government to produce a report looking at the impact that the eligibility criteria of social welfare payments is having on seasonal and part-time workers. The amendment specified that the report look into Jobseekers Benefit and the impact the current rate of €12.70 for Subsidiary employment has on seasonal workers and be brought before the Committee within 3 months.

“I have been raising this issue for many years in the Dáil and the Minister acknowledged that he has consistently heard the situation for seasonal workers in the context of Donegal. Social welfare cuts over the last number of years have drastically impacted on seasonal workers’ income security and access to necessary social welfare supports. This is particularly the case in Donegal where the shortening of the fishing season has compounded things for many who find themselves struggling to accumulate the necessary contributions for Jobseeker’s Benefit leading many only able to access Jobseeker’s Allowance.

“I hope to see the report come in on time and brought to the Committee shortly after it is completed. I also hope that its conclusions are constructive and lead to the improvement of income security for seasonal workers in Donegal and throughout the country” concludes Pringle.

ENDS

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