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Written Answers - Money Advice and Budgeting Service

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 765 No. 3

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 285.  Deputy Michael Healy-Rae Information on Michael Healy-Rae Zoom on Michael Healy-Rae  asked the Minister for Social Protection Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton  his views on a [405]statement by the Money Advice and Budgeting Services stating that almost all households dependant on social welfare payments cannot live a dignified life; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [23797/12]

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton I am aware of the ongoing research of the Vincentian Partnership for Social Justice on minimum essential budgets for selected household types. I met with representatives of the partnership when they made a pre-Budget submission in September last.

MABS has worked with the Vincentian Partnership for Social Justice and other organisations involved in supporting families with money difficulties over several years to develop an improved understanding of the requirements of different families when they are managing their outgoings on a low or reduced income.

The recently launched on-line Minimum Income Standard Calculator makes the work of the Vincentian Partnership for Social Justice readily accessible to the general public, and readily applicable to real household situations. The calculator is based on a social consensus view of the minimum needs for everyone. It aims to be a broad tool covering as much of the general population as possible but cannot show what is required for individual needs.

The ongoing research by the Vincentian Partnership, one of a number of research models , presents useful information which is studied with interest by my Department in the context of Budget formulation, having regard both to needs and to the resources available to meet those needs.

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