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The Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton TD has published an implementation plan for the proposed National Employment and Entitlements Service (NEES). This is part of a move to transfer the powers and services of FAS to the Department of Social Welfare.

The NEES will continue to process payments but will now act as a “one stop shop” for people wishing to seek benefits, employment and advice. The Minister has said that while social welfare income support remains “crucial and must be adequate to meet needs, passive income support alone is not sufficient if poverty and social exclusion are to be comprehensively addressed”.

The announcement comes just days after the CSO reported an increase in the unemployment rate which now stands at 14.2 percent.