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Child Benefit Rates

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 13 November 2012

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Questions (110, 119, 120, 126, 137, 138, 338, 383)

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

110. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Social Protection if she will ensure that multiple birth families including twins and triplets will not be subject to further cuts in budget 2013; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [49772/12]

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Michael Colreavy

Question:

119. Deputy Michael Colreavy asked the Minister for Social Protection if she will arrange for a poverty and gender impact assessment to be conducted on all budget proposals relevant to her Department in advance of the announcement of budget 2013. [49858/12]

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Mary Lou McDonald

Question:

120. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald asked the Minister for Social Protection if her attention has been drawn to the report by the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, The Human Face of Austerity; and her views on their assertion that those who depend on social welfare income supports must be protected from further cutbacks. [49838/12]

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Brian Stanley

Question:

126. Deputy Brian Stanley asked the Minister for Social Protection if her attention has been drawn to the call by Barnardos for pre-budget audits that examine the impact of proposals holistically and across Departments to ensure that they do not continue to erode family incomes to be conducted in advance of the finalisation of budget decision; and if she will engage with others in the conduct of same. [49857/12]

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Clare Daly

Question:

137. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Social Protection if she will ensure that there are no further cutbacks in budget 2013 in payment benefits or allowances to elderly citizens and that the cutbacks in the last two budgets for this category be reversed. [49912/12]

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Bernard Durkan

Question:

138. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Social Protection having regard to the Estimates prepared by her Department and the likely competing demand arising, if she is satisfied that she can meet the needs of those with disabilities and others who are vulnerable in our society arising from the situation she inherited from her predecessors; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [49860/12]

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Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Question:

338. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Social Protection if her attention has been drawn to the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, The Human Face of Austerity; and her view on the assertion that those who depend on social welfare income supports must be protected from further cutbacks. [49978/12]

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Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin

Question:

383. Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Minister for Social Protection her response to the appeal by nine leading disability organisations issued on 17 September 2012 calling on her to halt reductions in basic living standards for persons with disabilities who depend on social welfare supports [48969/12]

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Written answers (Question to Social)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 110, 119, 120, 126, 137, 138, 338 and 383 together.

The Revised Estimates for my Department provide for expenditure in 2012 of nearly €20.55 billion. This includes expenditure of €2.08 billion on child benefit, some €6.26 billion on pensions and €3.44 billion on illness, disability and caring schemes. In total, expenditure on these areas amounts to over 57% of the total expenditure of my Department.

The Government is considering the appropriate level of expenditure on the wide variety and schemes and services operated by my Department in 2013 in the context of the forthcoming Budget. The outcome will be announced on Budget Day.

I recognise that managing expenditure in 2013 and beyond will be extremely difficult and requires a critical analysis of all expenditure items. In this regard, I held a pre-Budget forum on Friday 12th October which was attended by thirty community and voluntary groups, including the Society of St. Vincent de Paul and groups representing people with disabilities. I listened carefully to the groups’ views and proposals in relation to the forthcoming Budget and I am considering all submissions made to me in that regard, including written submissions made by Barnardos and the Society of St Vincent de Paul, and the report recently published by the Society of St Vincent de Paul, The Human Face of Austerity.

As part of the Budgetary deliberative process, the Department will analyse, in so far as possible, the distributive and poverty impact of possible welfare changes to all welfare recipients including different family types including those with children and male/female poverty impacts. Finally, the Department will prepare a similar analysis of the overall Budget 2013 tax and welfare packages when they are finalised.

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