TDs and Ministers will vote later on whether to implement some of the most controversial cuts to social welfare payments announced in the Budget.
The Government is proposing to cut child benefit by €10-€20 per month, per child and reduce the carers' respite grant by €325 per year.
The first stage of the Social Welfare Bill was passed in the Dáil last night with the support of all government TDs.
Speaking during the debate, the Taoiseach Enda Kenny paid tribute to the Irish people for all the sacrifices made so far to get the country back on its feet.
"I appreciate the patience and the cooperation and the sacrifice of the Irish people as we make these tough decisions in the interests of our country and all our people for the time ahead," he said.
"Where changes have already been introduced in the last two years, we are beginning the see the benefits in job creation and investment."