This is the seventeenth issue of the annual "Statistical Information on Social Welfare Services" prepared by the Department of Social, Community and Family Affairs. It sets out comprehensive data relating to services provided by the Department.
The statistics set out in this report relate to 1999 and earlier years. In the case of data relating to recipients and beneficiaries, the figures, unless otherwise stated, refer to the 31st December each year. Several tables, which provide a breakdown of recipients or beneficiaries by some characteristic such as number of dependants or age, are refered to as "estimated". This means that the proportionate breakdown, which is considered to be a reliable estimate, was established at a date other than, but close to, 31st December.
Expenditure figures for 1999 are provisional pending certification by the Comptroller and Auditor
Source of Data
The source for the statistics presented, unless otherwise stated, is the Department of Social, Community and Family Affairs.
Breakdown by Section
The report has been redesigned and is now divided into nine sections as follows:
Section A - Summary and Financial
Section B - Old Age
Section C - Widows, Widowers and One-Parent Families
Section D - Child Related Payments
Section E - Illness, Disability and Caring
Section F - Unemployment Supports
Section G - Employment Supports
Section H - Supplementary Welfare Allowance
Section J - Miscellaneous Payments and Grants
Appendix 2 (page 93) lists the payments covered by each category.
Section A provides details of expenditure, recipients of weekly Social Welfare Payments, insured persons and rates of payment.
Section B provides details of expenditure and recipients of payments relating to old age.
Section C provides details of expenditure and recipients of payments to widows, widowers and one-parent families. It also includes some statistics on payment to deserted wives and prisoners' wives.
Section D provides details of expenditure and recipients of child related payments including Child Benefit, Orphan's Pensions and Maternity Benefit.
Section E provides details of expenditure and recipients of Disability Benefit, Invalidity Pension, Disability Allowance, Blind Person's Pension, Carers Allowance and Occupational Injury Benefits.
Section F provides details of unemployment payments.
Section G provides details of employment supports including Back to Work Allowance, Back to Work Enterprise Allowance, Back to Education Allowance, the Student's Summer Jobs Scheme, Family Income Supplement and Farm Assist.
Section H provides details of the range of payments available under the Supplementary Welfare Allowance scheme.
Section J provides details of Treatment Benefits, Free Schemes and other miscellaneous payments. In addition this section includes information on the Voluntary and Community Services as well as the Family Services administered by the Department of Social, Community and Family Affairs.
Farm Assist was introduced in April 1999 and replaces the Smallholders Unemployment Assistance scheme. The new scheme provides an income supplement for low income farmers. The great majority of existing recipients of Smallholders Assistance transferred to Farm Assist during the course of 1999. Data on expenditure on Farm Assist and recipients of Farm Assist/Smallholders is contained in Section G (Employment Supports). Data on expenditure on Smallholders Unemployment Assistance is shown in Section F (Unemployment Supports).
Time Series and Changes to Existing Payments
Time Series data are given, where available. However, the introduction of new payments e.g. Farm Assist and changes to existing payments affect the comparability of different years' figures in some instances. Relevant tables are footnoted where appropriate.