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State's pension spending has doubled since 2005

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(Stock photo)

(Stock photo)

(Stock photo)

Government spending on pensions has doubled since 2005, new figures show.

The latest CSO poverty report shows the estimated government spending on pensions in 2019 was €8bn, twice the €4.07bn that was spent 15 years ago.

Government funding for state pensions has steadily increased since the year 2000, when only €2.29bn was allocated.

It was estimated that just over €8bn was spent by the government on pensions last year, 39.2pc of the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection budget.

This was a 3.62pc increase from 2017, when €7.75bn was spent on pensions.

"It does reflect the fact that, unlike other social welfare payments, pensions weren't cut during the crisis," said Jerry Moriarty, chief executive of the Irish Association of Pension Funds.

"They have been increasing since and you are paying to more people, which has obviously impacted.

"The major problem we have is when you have half of the population who don't have any private pension provision at a time when the ability of the State to pay pensions into the future is going to become harder."

The report also showed 14pc of people were at risk of poverty in 2018.

However, the rate of young people in poverty was four times higher than for people aged over 65, with 7.7pc of people aged under 18 and only 1.7pc of people aged over 65 in poverty.

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