Dáil to vote this evening on social welfare cuts

TDs are expected to vote this evening on cuts to the social welfare bill outlined in Wednesday's Budget after the debate on the issue resumes this morning.

The Opposition has accused the Government of rushing the debate on the cuts in order to secure approval before deputies return to face their constituents at the weekend.

Yesterday's debate on the cuts was marred by rowdy scenes, while the Labour Party has vowed to continually disrupt Dáil business to try and prevent the cuts being approved.

Labour's Roisín Shortall during yesterday's debate sounded a warning to Independent TDs and backbenchers intending to back the Government's efforts to pass the bill into law.

"There is no obligation on them to support this," she said. "They are not under a whip. It's their choice.

"If they vote for these (measures), well then they have to face the consequences in their constituency."

Green Party deputy Paul Gogarty meanwhile defended the need to support the Budget.

"It's regrettable but necessargy," Gogarty said of the cuts to the social welfare provision. "And everyone on this side of the house is going to stand by it, because it has to be done."

The other business in the Dáil today is the Carbon Budget - full details of the new carbon tax announced two days ago.

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