Joan Burton defends record on social welfare reform
SOCIAL Protection Minister Joan Burton is defending her record on social welfare reform in the wake of recent criticisms from the Troika.
She is briefing Labour TDs about changes to the social welfare system, as well as the €440m target for social welfare cuts in the Budget, at their think-in event in Enfield, Co Meath.
But the Troika have been critical of the pace of welfare reform -and there has also ben impatience within Fine Gael. Taoiseach Enda Kenny has said that he wants to see "welfare traps" eliminated so that people are not penalised for taking up a job.
Ms Burton is insisting that there has been an unprecedented programme of policy reform and organisational change in her department.
She is briefing Labour TDs about the roll out of 'one stop shops' to provide job advice as well as dole payments to people who are out of work. And she is citing the fact that people who refuse to take up offers of training places or work experience can now have their dole payments halted for up to nine weeks.