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Pay Rise Social Justice Ireland propose social welfare payment increase of €10

The group say this would reduce Ireland’s cost of living and directly assist people on fixed incomes and people in low paid employment.

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The budget is expected to include an increase in social welfare rates (PA)

The budget is expected to include an increase in social welfare rates (PA)

The budget is expected to include an increase in social welfare rates (PA)

Social Welfare basic rates should be increased by €10, Social Justice Ireland have demanded.

The organisation believes that the Government should benchmark core social welfare rates to 27.5 per cent of average weekly earnings over a two-year period.

They say this would reduce Ireland’s cost of living and directly assist people on fixed incomes and people in low paid employment.

It would also "provide a stable and adequate income for welfare dependent individuals while not undermining labour market participation incentives".

Social Justice Ireland estimates that more than 12,000 adults would have avoided poverty in 2016 had minimum social welfare payments been benchmarked at 27.5 per cent of average earnings.

It has now called on the Government to commit to reaching this benchmark by 2023, which should be gradually moved to a target of 30 per cent.

Social Justice Ireland has also proposed that the two main tax credits should be made refundable for both part-time and full-time workers earning a low wage.

Making both PAYE and Personal tax credits refundable would mean that low-income workers – who don’t benefit from income tax reductions if they earn below approximately €215 per week – would benefit from the income tax reductions introduced by the Government in the annual Budget.

According to the organisation, some 113,300 low-income individuals would receive a “refund” and would see their disposable income increase as a result of the proposal.

The majority of the refunds would be worth under €2,400 per annum, or €46 per week, with the most common value being individuals receiving a refund of between €800 to €1,000 per annum, or €15 to €19 per week.

It says that this proposal is a “straightforward and cost-effective" solution to low-income and in-work poverty, which has remained at over 100,000 people for several years.

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