Dan Neville welcomes Minister for Social Protection’s comments on Benefits for self-employed

Fine Gael Limerick TD, Dan Neville has welcomed comments from the Minster for Social Protection, Joan Burton TD, regarding the need for social welfare benefits for self-employed people who find themselves out of work.

“This is an issue that I have been raising for some time, and I welcome confirmation from Minister Burton that the Government is aware of the need for progress in this area. Self-employed people are currently left out on a limb if they find themselves out of work, as they are excluded from most benefit payments.

“We’re talking about small business owners and entrepreneurs; people who drive the Irish economy. It is unacceptable that a situation prevails where the self-employed are left without adequate supports. Not only is the current scenario one of the greatest injustices in the Irish social welfare system, the lack of protection for the self-employed acts as a major disincentive to entrepreneurship as no safety net exists for those who wish to start their own business.

“I was encouraged to hear the Minister say that she is looking at how the system could be adjusted to ensure that in the future self-employed people will be making contributions that would cover a period of unemployment. Minister Burton says she expects a working report by the end of March on the social insurance fund.

Everyday constituents in Limerick are contacting me, who have been left in an extremely difficult situation after their businesses went under and they received little or no support from the State.