Getting more people back to work and building a social recovery for all
I warmly welcome the latest CSO figures, published this week, which show that in the past year there has been a 6.7% drop in the numbers signing on the live register at Nutgrove Social Welfare Office and an 11.2% drop at the Intreo Centre in Dún Laoghaire.
This is positive news and highlights the progress we are continuing to make in tackling unemployment in Dublin South.
There has also been a sustained decline in the unemployment rate nationally, which has fallen to 10.7% in November from a crisis peak of 15.1% in early 2012. Nationally, almost 125,000 people have left the Live Register in 2014 to take up work.
While these are promising statistics, unemployment remains high and we must retain our focus to help jobseekers get back to work. The Labour Party is also working to ensure that the fruits of the recovery are spread fairly across society.
From January, child benefit will be increased, bringing the monthly rate from €130 to €135 for each child. Child Benefit has been crucial in supporting families through difficult times and this increase will help families to build a better financial future and boost the recovery.
This week, the Christmas Bonus is being paid to some 1.23 million social welfare customers, at a cost of €65 million. People who will benefit from this payment include long-term welfare recipients including pensioners, people with disabilities, carers, lone parents, and long-term jobseekers. It will help these people to meet some of the additional costs around the Christmas season.