Although most social welfare payments will remain at current levels, some changes have been announced in the emergency Budget.
The jobseekers’ allowance for the under-20s will be halved to €100 per week, and the traditional Christmas bonus will not be paid. Rent supplement will be reduced, and child allowance may be either means-tested or taxed.
The early childcare supplement will be halved from May 1, and will be abolished at the beginning next year, to be replaced by a different scheme.
Finance Minister Brian Lenihan also said that welfare fraud investigation will intensify, promising extra staff for the role.
Overseas development aid was also reduced by €100m a year.