What do you think of these figures?
There was over €600,000 in welfare payments made in Carlow last year to help people meet "once-off expenditure", new figures on Government expenditure have revealed.
In a Parliamentary Question, Independent TD Mattie McGrath asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the level and number of exceptional needs payments that have been made in 2018 and to date in 2019.
Under the supplementary welfare allowance (SWA) scheme, the Department may make a single exceptional needs payment (ENP) "to help meet essential, once-off expenditure which a person could not reasonably be expected to meet out of their weekly income".
An urgent needs payment (UNP) may be made to persons who may not normally qualify for SWA but who have an urgent need which they cannot meet from their own resources or where an alternative is not available at that time.
In a written response, Minister Regina Doherty provided information which revealed that there were 1,015 such payments last year in Carlow bringing the total cost to €626,436.
Meanwhile, there were 153 payments up to February of this year bringing the total for 2019 to €276,823.
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