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Social Welfare

More than three quarters of the savings came from correcting errors made by Department of Social Protection staff

Most social welfare rates are not adequate to provide a standard of living seen as socially acceptable in Ireland according to a study conducted by the Vincentian Partnership for Social Justice and Trinity College.

The increase in the proportion of Ireland’s population at risk of poverty, (from 14.1% to 15.8% in one year) clearly identifies a major challenge for Government as it finalises its Budget for 2012. Budget 2012 must give priority to protecting Ireland’s poorest and most vulnerable people according to Social Justice Ireland

There is no justification for reducing Child Benefit. Below Social Justice Ireland outlines why Child Benefit should neither be reduced nor taxed in Budget 2012.
1. Child Benefit should not be reduced

Social Justice Ireland is deeply disappointed with some of the recommendations of the OECD’s latest report on Ireland.

Social Justice Ireland welcomes the publication of the ESRI report on ‘Tax, Welfare and Work Incentives’ which finds that 8 out of 10 people receiving welfare payments would increase their income by at least 50% if they were to obtain a job. These findings comprehensively refute the argument that most unemployed people ‘are better off on the dole’.

There is absolutely no justification for Government to reduce social welfare rates in Budget 2013 according to Social Justice Ireland.

Speaking at the Minister for Social Protection's annual Pre-Budget Forum (October 12, 2012) Social Justice Ireland pointed out that Government can reduce its borrowing by €3.5bn in Budget 2013 while still protecting Ireland’s most vulnerable people who have taken more than their fair share of the ‘hit’ for the reckless and at times illegal activities of those who got Ireland into its present mess.

Social Justice Ireland commissioned this brief report with the intention of establishing an appropriate benchmark for Ireland’s social welfare payments. The need for this study arises given changes to the availability of income data from the CSO.

Social Justice Ireland’s analysis of the Government’s National Plan for Recovery 2011-2014 shows that social welfare rates are set to fall by between €40 and €62 a week for a single person by 2014 if the €3bn in welfare cuts are to be implemented.   The government’s suggestions on how savings in the welfare budget are to be achieved are simply not credible. The Plan contains nothing of substance to increase the number of jobs.

Social Justice Ireland asks Government to clarify how €3bn welfare decreases are to be achieved by 2014