Government expenditure on Social assistance for carers has dropped by €6 million over the last two years, new figures show.
According to the National Statistics Office, carers social assistance has dropped (in 000s) from 10,293 in 2016 to 6,005 in 2017 and 4,664 in 2018. This is the biggest reduction across all of the Social Assistance aspects connected to the Non-Contributory Benefits, paid by the government.
In the wider context, Total Social Assistance in (000s) has dropped almost €8 million between 2016 (69,037) and (61,977) 2017 and a further €6.5 million reduction into 2018 (55,442). Equally, Non-Contributory Benefits have also gradually dropped €2 million from 2016 to 2018 (188,495, 187,214 to 186,293).
The NSO figures also show that Increased Invalidity Pensions have fallen by €235,000 over the last two years.
This represents the biggest drop in government spending on Pensions in respect to Invalidity, compared to more gradual reductions in other Pension elements like National Minimum and Decreased National Minimum Invalidity. Overall, this Pensions sector represents a roughly €3 million in Social Security Contributory Benefits.
While specific contributory and Non-contributory benefits have been dropping, there has been a gradual increase in Widowhood pensions.
According to the NSO’s figures, Survivor’s Pension represents the biggest increase in this sector at €10 million. The same is seen with an increase in the National Minimum Widows Pension at €4 million. Following behind on this was the Early Survivor’s Pension was an increase of €1 million. Overall, this represents a €15 million increase in this sector.