12 January 2014 19:23

 The increase in the number of unemployed has seen the government fork out over €127m in benefits for the first nine months of 2013, with that figure expected to pass €130m for the year given the recent spate of job losses in the last quarter of last year according to Labour Ministry figures.
By comparison, last year unemployment benefit cost the government €124.4m for the whole of 2012 and the government is bracing itself for an even greater increase in the demand for unemplyment benefit during 2014 as the economy is expected to shrink further with the result of even more job losses.
The Labour Ministry hopes to push through a new bill that will allow them to draw from pension funds to cover the rising cost of unemployment benefit as recommended in a recent study carried out on the economic viability of the Social Insurance Fund, as it struggles to cope with the cost of paying unemployment benefits.


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