On Tuesday, the Minister for Social Protection, Michael McGrath, published a draft document outlining the current situation in the social security system and how to access and change it.
In doing so, he made a number of key points that will likely trigger further political controversy in the coming weeks and months.
The document was published just before the Social Protection Committee was due to hold a hearing on the proposed changes to the current system.
McGrath is also expected to publish an assessment of the current welfare system as part of the next round of negotiations between the Dáil and the Government.
The draft is being seen by both sides as an attempt to reassure the public that the government’s plans for reform will be implemented, and that it will be transparent and that the social protection system will be reformed.
However, it is unclear what will happen to the existing system once the Déil’s meeting with the Social Security Commissioner is completed in two weeks’ time.
What is social security?
The current system was designed by the Social Welfare Commission (SWC), an independent statutory body that was set up by the Oireachtas in the early 2000s.
The SWC established that social security payments are a part of Irish society, and the Minister of Social Protection has stated that the current benefits system is “the only one in Europe that allows Irish taxpayers to get their full share”.
The system provides benefits to the poorest in society and also includes the provision of support for disabled people.
A majority of people receive social security in the form of a basic income payment or the Universal Basic Income (UBI), which is a basic payment paid to all citizens, regardless of age, gender, and ability.
The system is set to come into effect in 2019, and a transition period of two years is currently in place for the implementation of the new benefits system.
Currently, the only way to get a refund of a payment is by making a claim to the State for the money paid into your pay cheque.
However there are concerns that this process is complicated and not easy, and therefore not as simple as it might initially appear.
According to a recent OECD study, only around 10% of the eligible Irish population receive a UBI payment.
In addition, there is a huge amount of uncertainty surrounding the implementation, and it is currently unclear how many people will actually receive a payment when the scheme is introduced.
The Social Welfare Commissioner has said that a majority of the population will receive a basic-income payment, while in the long term the actual number will depend on the number of people receiving the benefits.
This uncertainty is a major issue for those who are expecting a basic UBI to be implemented in 2019.
What are the proposals to change the current social security contribution system?
Currently, everyone in the Irish population is entitled to a social security payment, regardless if they are over 60, 55, 60, 65 or over 80 years old.
If someone has a disability, it can only be made by an individual who has been declared incapable of working for at least three months, or if they have been deemed incapacitated by a medical condition.
The person’s condition is determined by a mental health assessment, and in the case of a claim of incapacity, a medical assessment.
This is not a complete picture of the person’s mental health condition, and there are also other factors that are considered when determining whether a person has a condition.
A person with a condition will receive their full social security income once they have passed a medical examination.
Currently it is estimated that more than half of all people in Ireland receive at least a basic amount of social security, and for those over 65, a significant proportion of this amount is due to a disability.
Currently those who do not qualify for a UBS payment are entitled to an annual UBS supplement, but this is not currently a universal system, and will depend upon the individual circumstances of each person.
A basic-rate payment is being introduced in 2018, and an additional UBS contribution is to be introduced in 2019 for people who earn less than €20,000 a year, with a lower limit to cover families with children under the age of six.
What will the changes mean for my current social contributions?
The government is proposing to replace the current UBS with a basic benefit, which will be based on the average household income and a number that will be set at 20% of your household income, or €18,000 for a family of four.
The proposed changes will also include a new system of Universal Credit, in which a payment will be made to those who need the most support and who can’t access the existing social security.
The current Universal Credit payment system has a maximum of €1,400 per year, and does not cover the needs of people who live in poverty.
In an attempt at addressing this issue, the government has announced a new Universal Credit scheme, which is designed to help people in need and to