Question to the Minister for Social Protection (Ms. Joan Burton T.D)
To ask the Minister for Social Protection when she will be presented with the remaining modular reports of the Advisory Group on Tax and Social Welfare; and if she will make a statement on the matter. – Jerry Buttimer.
For WRITTEN answer on Tuesday, 28th May, 2013.
Creating jobs and tackling poverty are two of the key challenges that Ireland now faces. It is essential that our tax and social protection systems play their part in addressing these challenges. To this end, and in line with commitments contained in the Programme for Government, I established an Advisory Group on Tax and Social Welfare, with the aim of harnessing expert opinion and experience to examine a number of specific issues. These include making cost-effective proposals for improving employment incentives and achieving better poverty outcomes, particularly child poverty outcomes.
The Group’s terms of reference provide for a range of issues to be considered including: child and family income supports, working age income supports, the appropriate unit of assessment in both the tax and social welfare codes, the interaction of the tax and social welfare codes, issues concerning social insurance for self-employed people and the Budget 2012 proposals concerning disability allowance and domiciliary care allowance.
The Group’s overall method of working is based on producing modular reports on the priority areas identified in the terms of reference. The Group commenced its work programme by prioritising the area of family and child income supports and its report on this first module of work was published on 20 February 2013. The Advisory Group’s second report was on the issue of the Budget 2012 proposals relating to Disability Allowance and Domiciliary Care Allowance. This report was published on 11 April 2013. The Advisory Group’s third module of work related to the issues involved in providing social insurance cover for self-employed persons so as to establish whether or not such cover is technically feasible and financially sustainable. The Group’s report on this issue was submitted to the Minister for Social Protection in May 2013 and its implications are currently being considered by the Minister and her Department. The Group is currently progressing its fourth module of work on the issue of working age income supports and the interaction of the tax and social welfare systems, with a view to concluding this module as quickly as possible.