1.5 million to benefit from new year social welfare increases

29/12/2004 - 07:31:36

One and a half million people are set to benefit from social welfare increases due to come into force next week, according to Social and Family Affairs Minister Seamus Brennan.

From January 1, people on lower payments will benefit from a €14 weekly increase, while pensioners on full rates are guaranteed a minimum increase of €12.

Mr Brennan said the increases were up to four times the expected rate of inflation for next year.

He also said that a breakdown of the recipients showed that the Irish economy continued to perform well.

"There are about 900,000 people directly paid every week some kind of benefit," the minister said. "Only 7% of that is unemployment benefit."

"Most of the €12bn which the Department of Social Affairs will spend next year - 93% of it in fact - goes out on pensioners and child benefit and other welfare payments apart from unemployment."

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