John Drennan: A third of Government's expenditure now goes on social welfare
Published 24/07/2011 | 05:00
Figures obtained by the Sunday Independent on social welfare spending during 2010 reveal the astonishing scale of Ireland's expenditure on State benefits.
The figures contained in the Department of Social Protection's Statistical Information on Social Welfare Services 2010 document show that, in spite of an ongoing series of bitterly contested cutbacks, social welfare payments continue to be one of the few growth industries.
The document, which is currently being read with great interest by the troika -- European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund -- reveals that the overall social welfare budget of €20.8bn (representing an increase of 1.5 per cent from 2009) now constitutes 33.4 per cent of all current government expenditure.