Foreword from the Minister
The availability of reliable data is an important tool in the development and implementation of policies to build social inclusion and progress social cohesion. Accurate information is vital to support evidence-based policymaking and enable the measurement of progress in these areas.
For this reason, I welcome the publication of this, the 28th edition of the Statistical Report of the Department of Social Protection. The report outlines the key statistics from the Departments’ social welfare supports in 2010 and points to trends within these schemes for the last 10 years which serve to inform policy decisions.
Supports administered by this Department provide for the complex and multi-faceted needs of people at every stage of life. Continuing to reflect the trend of recent years and re-affirming the Government’s commitment to the welfare of all those in need of support, social welfare programme expenditure increased to €20.8 billion in 2010 - an increase of 1.5% over the previous year.
The main features of my Department’s activities in 2010 were
Over 1.4 million people were in receipt of a weekly Social Welfare payment, which was paid in respect of just under 2.2 million beneficiaries;
Expenditure on State Pensions increased by 1% to just over €4.6 billion. Payments were made to almost 394,000 people in this area;
591,432 families received a monthly Child Benefit payment which was paid in respect of 1,124,003 children. Expenditure on Child Benefit decreased by 11.3% to just over €2.2 billion.
Family Income Supplement was paid to 28,223 families, 8.7% more than the previous year and benefiting over 62,000 children, a increase of 11.7% on 2009.
Expenditure on Family Income Supplement increased by 11.3% to €186 million;
Expenditure on Carer’s Allowance remained stable, decreasing by 0.1% while that on Carer’s Benefit decreased by 12.9%. The numbers in receipt of a Carer’s payment increased from 50,140 to 52,219, an increase of 4.1%;
Behind every one of the statistics in this report are real people involved in the day to day stresses, strains and struggles of working to build better lives for themselves and, in many cases, their families. That is why that we must strive to get behind the payments and the statistics and confront the social issues and problems that lead to the needs for the benefits, supports and entitlements in the first place.
Finally, I would like to express my appreciation to the staff throughout the Department, for their continued efforts in implementing the Government’s programme of social welfare protection, support and reform during a challenging year.
Ba mhaith liomsa mo bhuíochas a ghabháil le foireann na Roinne a chabhraíonn le muintir na tíre gach aon lá.
Joan Burton T.D.
Minister for Social Protection