Burton refuses to rule out reduction in social welfare cuts

Minister for Social Protection Minister Joan Burton has said any possible easing of austerity measures is going to be a roundtable discussion.

It follows comments by EU Commissioner Ollie Rehn at the G20 in Washington yesterday that Europe will ease austerity in a bid to accelerate growth.

Speaking at a Saint Vincent De Paul conference in Dublin today, Minister Burton refused to rule out seeking a reduction in her own Department’s targeted spending cuts.

Reports during the week suggested that she would seek a reduction in the €440m target set for social welfare cutbacks in October’s budget.

However, the Labour Minister did say the Troika now acknowledges that they got their original approach to austerity wrong.

Ms Burton said: "They got the calculation of the impact of the cuts in expenditure wrong.

"There was an economic model which they said, with some confidence, would produce growth, but it hasn't produced growth to the level that they estimated.

"In fairness to the IMF they have been very intellectually honest about that."

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