The proposed Pay-Related Benefit Scheme

Brendan Burgess

I made a submission on this back in February

So I was invited to meet the civil servants reviewing the submissions.

I had misunderstood one fundamental part of the proposal.

I had thought that they were simply adding PRB to current Jobseekers Benefit.

But, in fact, they are proposing to replace the JB with a completely new system: PRB.

So the level of PRB you get will depend on your recent salary. It will not matter whether you are single or married, whether you have dependents or not.

While I agree with this, I would imagine that after it is introduced, there will be calls for people with dependents to get more than single people.

An interesting statistic from our discussion today. Only 10% of people claiming Jobseekers claim for dependents.

It seems that there are three main categories:
1) Single people with no dependents
2) Married couples where both are in paid employment - so the spouse is not dependent on the unemployed person
3) Married couples where the spouse is dependent - this is the 10%.

I am still trying to get my head around this.

Hi Danny

Yes, it used to actually be a Pay Related Social Insurance scheme. It is no longer pay related. And they are trying to go back to that.

I did raise the prospect of the increased incentive to play the system. Working for 3 months and then getting pay related benefit for 9 months and then working again for 3 months etc. But they are building in safeguards against that.