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Voluntary and Community Groups Meet with Minister Burton at Pre-Budget Forum

Social Protection Minister Joan Burton today hosted a pre-Budget Forum to give voluntary and community organisations the opportunity to make pre-Budget submissions relating to social welfare schemes.

The Minister said:

One of my key priorities as Minister for Social Protection – the country’s largest spending Department – is to balance the books, in particular by starting to put the Social Insurance Fund on a sustainable footing. This is important not only so that we can recover our economic sovereignty but also to ensure that the social protection system is sustainable into the future.

Looking ahead to the next Budget I will do my best to ensure that the burden of resolving the crisis does not fall disproportionately on those who depend on income supports from my Department.

This year the Department of Social Protection will spend in the region of €20.55 billion on a wide range of schemes and services, 39% of all gross current Government expenditure. Over 2.2 million people, including 197,700 qualified adults and over 516,300 children, will benefit from a weekly payment from the Department of Social Protection, including those getting a jobseekers payment, on pensions, as a carer or for illness and disability.

31 groups attended the Forum, representing older people, people with disabilities, lone parents, children, unemployed people, carers and family support groups.

Minister Burton concluded by stating that she wanted to ensure that the social protection system is sustainable into the future.

Read the full press release here.