Thursday 18 January 2018

John Drennan: 'Welfare lags' to be targeted in the next Budget

Major reforms planned as Burton says dole will be available for a 'far more limited time'


SOCIAL welfare as a "lifestyle choice" is unlikely to survive past the next Budget, when major reforms will end the practice of 'welfare lags' collecting full dole payments for decades.

Social Protection Minister Joan Burton has signalled her intention to engage in major reforms of the system to protect basic welfare rates as the department's budget now devours 60 per cent of all taxes raised in the State.

Speaking to the Sunday Independent last week, Fine Gael TD John Deasy claimed that large numbers of TDs and ministers believe that the promise by Eamon Gilmore and Enda Kenny that there would be no cuts in social welfare rates or any increases in tax rates has "gone by the wayside''.

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