Burton speaks out against social welfare cuts

The Minister for Social Protection says cutting social welfare payments will do more harm than good to Ireland's economic recovery.

Burton speaks out against social welfare cuts

The Minister for Social Protection says cutting social welfare payments will do more harm than good to Ireland's economic recovery.

In an interview with the Irish Times Joan Burton signalled her intent to defend welfare rates in December's Budget after the IMF said last month that welfare rates were too high and must be reformed.

“The key finding of all the Survey of Income and Living Conditions reports in recent years is that social transfers have added a high measure of fairer distribution to incomes in Ireland than any other vehicle.

“It gives an enormous traditional Keynesian stimulus and the income that is paid out goes out to every region of Ireland. It allows people buy their milk in the corner shop," Burton told the newspaper.

Dr Stephen Kinsella from the Department of Economics at the University of Limerick, meanwhile, says the Troika are unlikely to accept the Minister's reasoning.

"They certainly won't be pleased with those suggestions because at the end of the day the government has spent €15bn more than it made.

"Cuts have to be made all over the place and it is a very fine balancing act. I think at the end of the day, if we're going to be reducing the living standards of the poorest people in our scoiety, we want to have a better rationale than the way the Troika want us to do it."

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