Fine Gael TD for Dublin Fingal, Alan Farrell TD, has called for reallocation of the €137 million surplus in the Social Protection budget recorded at the end of August.
“The Department of Social Protection recorded a surplus of €137 million at the end August. This is testament to the successful policies of the Government, in particular Minister Richard Bruton’s Action Plan for Jobs, which has taken thousands of people off the live register.
“Older people in particular should, I believe, benefit from this unexpected and very welcome surplus. €137 million in the Department of Social Protection could potentially make a huge difference for allowances such as the fuel allowance. I intend to present this proposal to the Tanáiste and my Government colleagues.
“Yesterday’s quarterly economic figures from the CSO show that we are now in a much more stable position. The Irish economy grew by 7.7% in GDP terms and consumer spending is up 1.8% year on year.
“The recovery is underway but not everyone is feeling it in their everyday lives. This Government is determined to ensure that the strong economic data trickles down to all people and that they see the real benefits. Redistributing the €137 million surplus in the Department of Social Protection would make a major difference for many people.
“Now is not the time for frivolous spending, the country needs a stable and steady economy. It is very important that we do not get over excited about positive economic figures. While these are extremely encouraging, the Government is determined to move away from the boom and bust cycle.
“However, in the case of surplus in the Department of Social Protection, this money was budgeted to be spent, that has not happened yet and I believe that we could use these funds to make a small but significant difference to the older people in our community.”