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Written Answers - Social Welfare Benefits

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 760 No. 3

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 307.  Deputy Dessie Ellis Information on Dessie Ellis Zoom on Dessie Ellis  asked the Minister for Social Protection Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton  if she has any plans to act on IMF suggestions to cut free travel and free electricity/gas units for older persons. [16391/12]

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton The International Monetary Fund (IMF) recently completed the fifth review of the Programme of Financial Support for Ireland. In this review, the IMF outlined that the Government has continued the strong implementation of the programme despite deteriorating external conditions, meeting 2011 fiscal targets with a margin and advancing structural reforms to support growth and job creation. The IMF staff report for this review mentions areas of Irish social welfare expenditure which they believe merit examination in the context of the current reform of the system and fiscal consolidation which is already well under way.

My Department completed a Comprehensive Review of Expenditure last September and all social protection expenditure, including free travel and free electricity/gas, continues to be reviewed as part of the Government’s ongoing examination of all Government Expenditure.

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