Taoiseach joins Ministers Doherty and McGrath to launch self-employed benefits awareness campaign

An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, the Minister for Employment Affairs & Social Protection, Regina Doherty, and the Minister of State with special responsibility for Disabilities, Finian McGrath, today launched a government awareness campaign to highlight the range of benefits available to people who are self employed.

The campaign was launched at an event organised by Dublin City Local Enterprise Office, showcasing the work of some of the self-employed people that they have worked with. A number of Government benefits have been extended to the self-employed, such as treatment benefits and the invalidity pension, and this campaign aims to raise awareness of the range of benefits available and to encourage the self-employed to find out, and apply for, the benefits they are entitled to. Speaking at the campaign launch in Dublin’s City Hall today the Taoiseach said: “Self-employed people make a hugely positive contribution to our economy. They are farmers, hairdressers, taxi drivers, shop owners, professionals and entrepreneurs of every variety in every county nationwide. They create their own job, and often create jobs for other people too. Each one of them has taken the decision to branch out and start a business or work on their own, and I believe the Government should support them in as much as we can. “We have extended a number of benefits to the self-employed, as part of our plan to make work pay and ensure the social insurance system is fairer.

By cutting the USC and improving tax credits, as well as making benefits available such as paternity benefit, treatment benefit and the invalidity pension, we are putting money back in the pockets of self-employed people, while also giving them a stronger safety net. I would encourage all self-employed people to visit www.gov.ie/selfemployed to check out their entitlements." Minister Doherty said: “The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection is extending the range of services for the self-employed, to ensure that there is support and assistance when self-employed people need them. Those services include the extension of treatment benefits, the invalidity pension, paternity and maternity benefits, the State pension (contributory). They also have access to social assistance (means tested) payments. I encourage everyone who is self-employed to make sure they know what they are entitled to.” Minister McGrath added: “The Invalidity pension is now extended to self-employment for the first time – this is an inclusive reform, part of the National Disability inclusion Strategy 2017-2021 which I launched last year, and provides an important safety net for self-employed people should they have a disability or illness in the future.” Owen P Keegan, Chief Executive, Dublin City Council said: “The extension of the range of social protection supports and services to self-employed people is much needed to continue to stimulate entrepreneurship nationally.

These additional supports increase sustainability for small business owners, benefiting the wider community. It adds to the existing supports and service offered through the Local Enterprise Office to people starting and scaling their business” More information on the range of benefits is available at gov.ie/selfemployed.