Dáil Éireann - Volume 322 - 25 June, 1980
Written Answers. - Social Welfare Discrimination.
Dr. O'Connell Dr. O'Connell
179. Dr. O'Connell asked the Minister for Social Welfare the measures, if any, he intends taking to remove the discrimination against young people in the social welfare system.
Minister for Social Welfare (Dr. Woods) Michael J. Woods
Minister for Social Welfare (Dr. Woods): I do not accept that there is discrimination against young people in the social welfare system. There are some differences in the conditions applying to young people which arise from the necessity to take account of their particular needs and circumstances as persons who have only recently entered the social insurance system.
These young people are credited with a national insurance record for periods prior to the commencement of their employment which enables them to qualify for benefits such as unemployment benefit and disability benefit from an earlier date than they otherwise would.
Special conditions also apply to persons under 23 years of age who claim dental or optical benefit.
It is, of course, true that young people between the age of 16 and 18 years who have no dependants receive a lower rate of disability benefit or unemployment benefit than those over 18. However, as people within this age group will rarely have reached their full earnings potential and would normally be paying a low pay-related social insurance contribution, I do not consider that this provision is unreasonable and I have no plans to alter it at present.
Dáil Éireann 322 Written Answers. Social Welfare Discrimination.