It is proposed to take Questions Nos. 810, 812, 813, 814, 818 and 819 together.
I share the Deputy's concerns in relation to the impact of inflation on social welfare customers.
The higher than expected inflation has had the effect of reducing the value of this year's budget increases in social welfare payments. At the time of the budget it was estimated that inflation would be much lower, in the region of 3%, and the Government provided for social welfare increases well in excess of this. However, the recent rapid increase in inflation was not predicted and therefore, in next year's budget the Government will be taking account of the increased level of inflation in getting increases for 2001.
Question No. 811 taken with Question No. 130.
Questions Nos. 812, 813 and 814 taken with Question No. 810.