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Reforming Ireland’s Social Welfare System

5 December, 2022

This document outlines Sinn Féin’s proposed reforms to the social welfare system, which would ensure that it is fairer for all, and that people are protected from poverty. We are calling for three key reforms to the social welfare system, including the establishment of a Social Welfare Adequacy Commission to monitor and advise on social welfare rates annually, ensuring that rates are evidence-based and fair; the transition of social insurance payments from a flat rate to a percentage of previous earnings to ensure that workers who have paid into the system are treated fairly and protected from a sudden push towards poverty; and the benchmarking of rates for social assistance payments to a Minimum Essential Standard of Living (MESL) to ensure people are not at risk of poverty. These proposals would deliver significant and beneficial changes to our Social Protection system.