Help self-employed people access welfare, says Phelan

Deputy Ann Phelan (Lab) has asked Social Protection Minister Joan Burton to see whether anything can be done to alleviate the problems experienced by self-employed people in accessing help from social welfare.

Deputy Ann Phelan (Lab) has asked Social Protection Minister Joan Burton to see whether anything can be done to alleviate the problems experienced by self-employed people in accessing help from social welfare.

Speaking in the Dáil, Deputy Phelan said: “Perhaps there could a role under the forthcoming Companies Act as to how examine how a scheme could be set up specifically for self-employed workers, that they could avail of in tougher economic times.”

“I realise that there huge pressures on the department but perhaps, Minister, we could set up an expert group to see if a way could be found to alleviate the problems they are currently experiencing,” she said.

“The plight of the self-employed worker and social welfare in the UK bears comparison and in fact is very similar to here but, and it is an important but, once all the T’s have been crossed and all the i’s dotted, there are no restrictions in accessing all social welfare benefits. A worker needs to show bank accounts, a tax certificate from the Revenue and make sure all the contributions have been made – then they are entitled to the full welfare system.”