Dáil Éireann - Volume 655 - 21 May, 2008
Written Answers. - Social Insurance.
Deputy Olwyn Enright Deputy Olwyn Enright
Deputy Olwyn Enright asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs the progress with the programme for Government commitment to recognise the role and economic contribution of spouses working on the farm in the social insurance system; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [20127/08]
Deputy Mary Hanafin Deputy Mary Hanafin
Deputy Mary Hanafin: The Programme for Government states that ‘The role and economic contribution of spouses working on the farm will be better recognised within the social insurance system, following on from Budget 2007 which allowed recipients of Farm Assist to make PRSI contributions for the first time’. Spouses working for self-employed contributors are specifically excepted from social insurance contributions. However, spouses who are actively engaged in a commercial partnership, including the operation of a farm, as opposed to simply being the joint owners of a property, are treated as individual self-employed contributors and are thus included under the social insurance systems.
In the situation where a family business or farming enterprise is incorporated as a limited company, spouses involved in the business can establish a social insurance record as either employees or as self-employed contributors — depending on whether a contract of service exists. Also, a spouse engaged in “off-farm” employment, will pay social insurance contributions in his or her own right. Under the provisions of the Towards 2016 social partnership agreement, an information leaflet is currently being developed between the Department of Social & Family Affairs and the Revenue Commissioners to set out the social welfare and tax implications of families co-working in a shared business. The leaflet will be published shortly.
Dáil Éireann 655 Written Answers. Social Insurance.