Opposition: Not too late for U-turn on budget cuts

Members of the opposition have said that it is not too late for the Government to reverse the cuts made to child benefit and the carers' respite grant in the budget.

The social welfare bill is being debated in the Dáil again tonight - and the first vote on the bill is due to be made at 9.30pm.

The Government has proposed cutting child benefit by €10 next year - and reducing the carers' respite grant by €325.

But Independent TD Shane Ross said there are many other areas which the Government could cut instead:

Speaking in the Dáil tonight, Independent TD Mattie McGrath took the opportunity to tell the Taoiseach that the Irish people are sick of his pandering to German Chancellor Angela Merkel:

Meanwhile Fine Gael backbencher Anthony Lawlor has described the criticism from Fianna Fail and Sinn Fein as hypocritical.

In the Dail, the Kildare Deputy said Fianna Fail introduced savage cuts in the 2009 budget - and this year Sinn Fein made many difficult decisions in the North when drawing up the budget for the Northern Ireland Assembly:

A small group of protestors have gathered outside Leinster House this evening also and are calling on Labour TD’s to vote against the Social Welfare Bill.

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