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  • PRINGLE: GOVERNMENT MUST PROTECT SELF-EMPLOYED

    first_imgDONEGAL TD Thomas Pringle has called on the Government to protect self-employed people who find themselves in difficult circumstances by provision of additional social welfare payments.Speaking on the matter at Topical Issues in the Dáil the Independent TD for Donegal South West stated: “We are all aware of the hardship being faced by many people currently. When someone is made unemployed, paying the bills and mortgage while putting food on the table is a daunting prospect. While some supports are available to help those in need, life is still a struggle.”“As it stands, however, the self-employed who find themselves in a similar situation are not entitled to that support and are left with nothing – that is not right and should not be allowed to continue. While social welfare may be available through Jobseeker’s Allowance, jumping through the necessary hoops to show they have a need and can satisfy the means test is very difficult for self-employed people.” “There is a high level of unemployment and many were self-employed but because of their status, they are not entitled to Jobseeker’s Benefit or disability benefits, which can have untold consequences on the individual and his or her family. I realise a situation exists where on an actuarial basis self-employed contributors receive a lot more than they contribute to the Social Insurance Fund, but these people must be protected when they are unemployed like any other person.By doubling self-employment contributions from 4% to 8%, with such qualifying contributions being made for no less than 104 weeks, we could provide for such people to be eligible for Jobseeker’s Benefit and disability benefits without it having a massive impact on the Social Insurance Fund,” explained Pringle.“The Minister for Social Protection previously suggested voluntary contributions could be an option, but I disagree. We have already seen how voluntary contributions worked for fishermen, with only 20 individuals availing of this option in 2009 out of 1,400 fishermen. Many of them probably subsequently regretted their decision not to pay the additional contributions, and it is for that reason the contributions must be mandatory for the system to work.”“In 2011, 2,300 people started businesses in Ireland. These people are classified as being self-employed and are those whom it is hoped will employ others in the future. Consequently, such a measure should be considered as a stimulus package. “I therefore ask that the Minister for Social Protection gives this proposal serious consideration which would give many a safety-net in difficult circumstances,” stated Pringle. PRINGLE: GOVERNMENT MUST PROTECT SELF-EMPLOYED was last modified: October 9th, 2012 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:PRINGLE: GOVERNMENT MUST PROTECT SELF-EMPLOYEDlast_img read more