More than 2,500 claims have been approved under the treatment benefit scheme in Leitrim for self-employed people
More than 2,500 claims have been approved under the treatment benefit scheme in Leitrim for self-employed people since reforms were introduced by the Government, a Fine Gael councillor has said.
Sinéad Maguire, a General Election candidate in Sligo/Leitrim, was speaking as she took part in a campaign to raise awareness among business owners about the supports available to them.
She said: "Small and medium business owners are the life-blood of our economy and contribute so much to our communities.
"This is why Fine Gael has prioritised improving the supports available to the self-employed, to ensure there is parity between the self-employed and employees.
"We believe in promoting enterprise and ensuring that there is an environment where small to medium enterprises can thrive."
Cllr Maguire continued: "I met with Jane Lambert of Baker Boys café in Sligo to discuss various aspects of running your own business. We had a very interesting discussion that's available in in video and podcast form on the Fine Gael website.
"There is also great detail on the supports available for people who are self-employed. I would encourage people in business or considering setting up a business to check out the website to familiarise themselves with what is available.
"One way in which the contribution of small and medium businesses to the economy has been recognised is the extension of the treatment benefit scheme to self-employed people for the first time.
"Under this scheme people may qualify for dental benefits, optical benefits and hearing aid benefits - was extended to self-employed people for the first time in 2017.
"Figures from the Department of Social Protection show that in 2018 and in the first half of 2019 there were 2,688 claims approved in Leitrim in respect of self-employed contributors."
Cllr Maguire continued: "Fine Gael will continue to press ahead with reforms to ensure the self-employed are protected and valued for their crucial role in our economy.
"Another important step in this process is the introduction of jobseekers for the self-employed by the Government in November. I believe this will offer peace of mind for people that there is a safety net available."