Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Social Protection and Social Equality, Willie O’Dea TD, has launched the ‘Social Welfare Amendment Bill 2013’ which addresses the fact that the self-employed cannot access social welfare payments.
Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Social Protection, Willie O’Dea TD, says the Bill will encourage more people to establish businesses in Ireland as there will be a safety net of social welfare entitlements like jobseeker’s benefit and illness benefit.
“In Ireland over the last 5 years, early start entrepreneurship has fallen by up to 25%. There are a number of barriers for potential start-up businesses, Fianna Fáil’s Bill addresses some of these barriers. The fact there is no social insurance scheme for employers is a huge barrier. Fianna Fáil plans to make this an opt-in scheme for the self-employed.
“The Government’s own report, conducted by the Advisory Group on Tax and Social Welfare, includes a survey of the social insurance scheme for the self-employed across Europe. Practically all the countries surveyed have social welfare systems that cater for the self-employed; some are voluntary, some are opt-in and some are a mixture of both. Ireland currently has no such scheme and this needs to be changed immediately.
“The Social Welfare Amendment Bill 2013 would make it optional for employers to increase their PRSI contributions, which would be done over a phased basis. The additional voluntary payment would be 4% extra for those earning over €356 per week.
“Minister Joan Burton’s proposals make the scheme compulsory; which would amount to a 37.5% increase in PRSI contributions for employers. Many businesses already struggling to survive in these tough economic circumstances would not be able to afford the extra costs. It should be up to each individual employer to decide if they wish to make additional contributions.
“The Government’s jobs strategy is failing and the pledge to create 100,000 new jobs in Ireland by 2016 looks likely to join the Government’s long list of broken promises. The number of net jobs created in the private sector has been quite low and we need to encourage more self-starters to set- up business, but firstly we need to make the system more equitable.”