Social Welfare recipients in Dundalk will be required to sign a contract

The contract, with the Department od Social Protection, is part of a new scheme which will be up and running in the town before the end of the year.

The contract, with the Department od Social Protection, is part of a new scheme which will be up and running in the town before the end of the year.

However, if unemployed people don’t sign the contract they could face cuts to their payments or even a complete cessation of their dole money.

Dundalk is one of a second wave of towns that will be effected by the new system.

According to the Department: “Intreo is a new service from the Department of Social Protection which will help you with your employment and income support services needs. Intreo will provide a personalised service, based on your individual needs including; advice on education, training and personal development opportunities, job search assistance as well as information on and access to our range of income supports.”

The average time to award Jobseekers’ Allowance claims had improved from three weeks to about four days – a 77 per cent reduction in waiting time.

Launching the service, Taoiseach Enda Kenny said it was “an important step in transforming the way income and employment supports are provided.

“It is a key element of the Government’s response to the employment crisis and supports the objectives set out in the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs and the Pathways to Work initiative.

“It links the payment of income supports to the task of supporting people in their pursuit of employment and improving their life chances,” he said.