Question to the Minister for Social Protection (Ms Joan Burton T.D.)
To ask the Minister for Social Protection further to Parliamentary Question No.417 of 28 May 2013 if she has set a deadline for the advisory group on tax and social welfare to report on working age income supports; the date on which she plans to publish the module she has received on social insurance cover for the self employed; if it will be before Budget 2014; and if she will make a statement on the matter. – Jerry Buttimer.
For WRITTEN answer on Tuesday, 11th June, 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 overall method of working is based on producing modular reports on the priority areas identified in the terms of reference. Within its terms of reference the Advisory Group works on its own initiative and within its own timetable. The Group is currently examining the issue of working age income supports and the interaction of the tax and social welfare systems. While a deadline for this module has not been set, the Group is progressing this work with a view to concluding this module as quickly as possible.
The Advisory Group’s report relating 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 was submitted to me in May 2013. The implications of this report are currently being considered by me and my Department and the report will assist the Government in considering the appropriate direction of policy on this issue. While the report is not yet in the public domain, I intend to have this report published in due course and at the appropriate time.