IRELAND - Government spending on old age and retirement pensions will rise by e60m in 2006, according to pre-budget estimates from the department of social and family affairs.
Minister for social affairs, Seamus Brennan, included an additional e48.4m for disability allowance and invalidity pensions and said the delivery of a “decent pension for all of workers” was a key target of his social reform agenda. These reforms, while protecting those who are disadvantagedamongst us, must also actively create opportunity... by providing stepping stones off welfare assistance to a better standard of living and income,” he said.
The pre-budget estimates for spending on social welfare amount to e12.49bn, but Brennan said he was confident that a level of additional spending would be achieved by the December budget.
Estimates for the department of social and family affairs are different from the estimates for other departments in that they do not reflect the real amount we will be actually spending on social welfare benefits and supports in 2006,” he said.
“Our estimates are a framework to which the budget allocations will be added to significantly boost overall spending on social welfare. In the case of most departments the estimates are the near final word but in social and family affairs they are really only the beginning.
According to Brennan, the commitment in the estimates to e12.49bn was the highest ever spend on social welfare before the inclusion of budget measures.
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