Joan Burton was appointed Minister for Social Protection in March 2011. She was the first TD to be re-elected in the general election after topping the poll in Dublin West.
Her main priority is to transform the system of social protection to encourage unemployed people back to work, education or training.
One of her key initiatives is the launch of JobBridge, an internship programme, which enables the unemployed to obtain quality work experience.
She has also launched a major crackdown on fraud to ensure that the resources of her Department are spent on the people who most need them.
Joan Burton is Deputy Leader of the Labour Party. She was Finance spokesman for the party up to 2011. She was prominent during the banking crisis and opposed the bank guarantee.
She was first elected to the Dáil in 1992. In the 1992-97 Government she was Minister for Development Cooperation and Overseas Aid ('94 to '97). As Minister of State in Foreign Affairs, she revamped Ireland’s development programme in Africa. As Minister of State in Social Welfare (January 1993 to November 1994) she initiated a series of Welfare to Work and Education initiatives for lone parents and families on Social Welfare.
Joan Burton is a chartered accountant by profession. She trained and worked with PriceWaterhouse in Dublin prior to becoming a Senior Lecturer in the Dublin Institute of Technology. She also lectured for a number of years at the University of Dar Es Salaam in Tanzania.
She is married to Pat Carroll, a Senior Lecturer in Mathematics at the DIT Bolton St, Dublin. They have one daughter who works as a barrister in Dublin.