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New Bill makes amendments to social welfare

The Social Welfare and Pensions Bill, published on June 2, outlines amendments to be made to social welfare in a number of areas.

The Jobs Initiative will be affected and will see the lower 8.5 percent rate of employer PRSI contribution halved from 2 July 2011, the minimum wage will be restored to €8.65 and measures to facilitate the National Internship Scheme will be accounted for.

The Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton, TD will have extended power to allow for obtaining information from people claiming social welfare. Current and future claimants may now have to provide further information to determine their entitlements.

The legislation also highlights other areas in relation to social welfare such as amendments to the Family Income Supplement. The illegal use of a public service card is addressed in the Bill and it will now be an offence not to return it if requested. Provisions to facilitate social welfare inspectors who are investigating employers are also laid down.