Poverty safety net spend tops €700m in year

More than €700m was spent last year providing a safety net for people at risk of poverty and social exclusion, it was revealed today.

More than 110,000 people receive the supplementary welfare allowance payment each week for rent supplement, heat, travel, urgent needs and basic weekly payments.

The scheme, which was introduced almost 30 years ago, has a safety net role in providing support to help alleviate poverty and social exclusion.

The annual review of the Supplementary Welfare Allowance Scheme found the total cost of the support system was more than €700m.

The scheme is delivered by some 700 Community Welfare Offices from more than 1,000 locations around the country.

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