Burton defends cuts to department budget

The Social Protection Minister Joan Burton defended cuts to her department's budget during a Dáil debate on the Social Welfare Bill last night.

Minister Burton was speaking ahead of a vote on Thursday, which will give effect to measures announced in the budget.

She said she had worked to ensure that core weekly payments were not touched, but that savings had to be made elsewhere.

She also said she was committed to ensuring that Child Benefit remains a universal payment.

Minister Burton said the government had to make savings and it was not possible to avoid cuts to her department to do so.

"It is simply not possible to exclude social protection schemes and services from consideration when it comes to cutting back on expenditure, nor is it possible to exclude PRSI from consideration when it comes to raising badly needed revenue," she said.

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