General Election 2016: A non-systematic summary of how the parties did

 poverty

50 seats to the party (FG) which wants:

  • A new Integrated Framework for Social Inclusion, built on the three pillars of
  1. More and Better Jobs;
  2. Long Term Thinking for Better Services;
  3. Equality of Opportunity. – help eliminate any persisting discrimination and draw on existing as well as new strategies.
  • Increase Jobseeker’s Benefit to €215 for the first 3 months of unemployment, reducing to €200 for between 3 and 6 months of unemployment and reverting to the standard rate of €188 after 6 months.

44 seats to the party (FF) which wants:

  • Increase working age welfare payments by €10 with an additional €10 top-up payment for carers, disability allowance, invalidity and blind pension recipients,

23 seats to the party (SF) which wants:

  • Reinstate the full rate of Jobseekers Allowance for under 26s; .recognise the cost of disability by increasing Disability Allowance by €20; .increase Fuel Allowance, Family Income Supplement and the Back to School Allowance
  • Raise the cut-off age of the One- Parent Family Payment to 12 years old; restore the Bereavement Grant; and introduce a Telephone Allowance.
  • Fund the rollout of an area-based anti-poverty programme based on the Young Ballymun model.
  • Establish a Social Protection Adequacy Commission to examine the minimum income required by different household types in receipt of social welfare to secure a Minimum Essential Standard of Living and make associated annual recommendations to the Minister for adjustments to social welfare rates of payment.

7 seats to the party (Lab) which wants:

  • Produce a new National Action Plan for Social Inclusion in 2017, with the eradication of child poverty the primary objective of that action plan.
  • Establish a new body – the End Child Poverty Commission to work to eradicate child poverty to make sure that we at least halve child poverty by 2021.
  • Support a strong, social Europe that delivers for its citizens
  • Income linked job seekers payment will amount to up to €30 a week extra above existing benefit levels.
  • At a minimum increase welfare payments in line with the cost of living.
  • Move towards welfare individualisation – meaning spouses and partners of jobseekers are seen as welfare clients in their own right.

6 seats to the party (AAA/PBP) which wants:

  • Reverse cuts to welfare rates, the telephone allowance, the cuts to child benefit and One Parent Family Payment

3 seats to the party (SDs) which wants:

  • Set official all-of-Government target of ending Consistent Child Poverty by 2021 – led by An Taoiseach;
  • Within 6 months develop a New Anti-Poverty Strategy, with clear targets, timeframes and lines of responsibility, and with families as a key focus;
  • Poverty-proof all Budgets and set against the targets of the new Anti-Poverty Strategy.
  • Replicate targeted area-based investment similar to the Young Ballymun programme
  • Improve the rate for jobseekers who are under 25 above the CPI rate;
  • Improve Rent Supplement and HAP rates as a short-term measure to reduce homelessness
  • .Reinstate the full the Christmas Bonus;
  • .Introduce a Cost of Disability Payment;

2 seats to the party (Gr) which wants:

  • Integration of the social welfare and tax systems in a manner which provides income support in recognition of the importance and value of unpaid work – begin with the introduction of a refundable tax credit for those people who do not take up their full tax allowance. This will be the first step to the adoption of the basic income scheme which would replace the current separation between the tax and social welfare system.
  • Reverse cuts to one parent family payments.

0 seats to the party  (Renua) which wants:

  • All people in receipt of social welfare who have been unemployed for more than six months will be enrolled in community employment schemes or an expanded JobBridge apprenticeship programme. A minimum of 20 hours per week on CE or JobBridge will be sought in return for job seekers payments

 

Now, we are looking forward to seeing these proposals in the new Programme for Government.

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