Over €1m spent on welfare payments in Carlow for 'once off' expenditure in just two years

The expenditure is for 2018 and to date in 2019

Darren Hassett


Darren Hassett



Carlow Carlow Carlow

Minister Regina Doherty

Over €1.1m in welfare payments were made in Carlow across the last two years to help people meet "once-off expenditure", new figures on Government expenditure have revealed. 

In a Parliamentary Question, Sinn Féin's John Brady asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection for the amount spent on the exceptional needs payment and urgent needs payment by county in 2017, 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 in total €38.8 million has been provided for ENPs and UNPs in 2019 nationwide. 

The figures were broken down by county and it showed that in Carlow the expenditure was €510,260 for 2017 and €626,436 in 2018 and €513,372 for 2019 (up to the end of June).