Welfare claims rise again; refugees account for half the increase

White keyboard with close up on work buttonThere was a rise in the number of people claiming welfare benefits in the second quarter of this year but not all the increase is due to Syrian refugees, the national statistics office CBS said on Wednesday.

In total, 463,000 were claiming the basic benefit of nearly €1,400 for a couple or just under €1,000 for a single person at the end of June. This is an increase of 21,000 on a year ago.

The CBS said refugees with residency permits account for around half the rise. There was also an increase in claims by the under-27s because of tougher rules on invalidity benefit. In addition, the rise in the pension age means older people are claiming welfare for longer, the CBS said.

The CBS also said three in 10 people claiming welfare benefits are involved in a variety of efforts to find a job, including training and work experience schemes. Such projects led to 10,000 people finding and holding down a proper job last year.

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