More than 420,000 pensioners are to benefit from increases in social welfare payments from today.
Contributory pensions will rise by €14 to €223.30 per week today, with non-contributory pensioners receiving a €12 increase.
The State Pension (Transition) and the Invalidity Pension for the elderly has also rose by €14.
In addition, the spouses or partners of over 42,000 contributory pensioners will benefit from a special increase of up to €27 from this week.
The increases in welfare payments come as part of the €900m Budget 2008 welfare package, which will bring the total 2008 welfare spend by the Department of Social and Family Affairs to a record €17bn.
“The 2008 Social Welfare Budget package makes significant progress towards achieving the Government’s target rate for social welfare pensions,” said Minister for Social Affairs Martin Cullen.
“Since 2002, the level of the Contributory State Pension has increased by over 50%. This level of improvement has had a marked impact on the living standards of older people
“The fuel season has also been extended to 30 weeks with effect from April. Under this scheme a fuel allowance of €18 per week is paid to all eligible households. This measure again will be of particular benefit to older people.”