The Social Protection Minister has said she would not be able to survive on her own department’s social welfare benefits, writes Elaine Loughlin of the Irish Examiner.
Regina Doherty claimed there is an impression that those on jobseeker’s benefit and other state payments are “living the life of Reilly”, but said this is not the case.
At the launch of the Irish National Organisation of the Unemployed Working for Work book, she said people on benefits needed to be recognised.
“They are not living the life of Reilly,” she said. “I don’t know where people get the view that people who are living on welfare are living the life of Reilly, because Jaysus I couldn’t live on €198 a week if I am being honest.
“I can’t tell you in stronger terms how aware I am of people who are living on fixed incomes from the social contract that exists in this State.”
Ms Doherty met Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe yesterday ahead of the budget and said she would prioritise lifting children out of poverty and improving supports for lone parents. She also wants the state pension increased €5 but said she would meet Mr Donohoe again in the coming weeks to discuss the budget.