New statistical report shows Social Welfare targeting resources to support 1.5 million people in last year

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Social Welfare expenditure increased by over 14% to €15.5 billion in 2007

Over one million people received a weekly Social Welfare payment in 2007, which benefitted over 1.5 million men, women and children throughout the country. Total Social Welfare expenditure in 2007 was over €15.5 billion, an increase of 14.2% on the previous year. Almost €3 out of every €10 spent by the overnment in current expenditure was spent supporting pensioners, families and jobseekers.

A range of statistical information covering all of the 50 programmes administered by the Department of Social and Family Affairs was published today in the 25th Statistical Information on Social Welfare Services 2007. The report also tracks trends over the past ten years for each of the schemes.

Speaking today, Minister Mary Hanafin T.D., said, “behind each of the statistics in this report is a real person or family, making it all the more important for us to see that delivering services is not just about numbers but about affecting the daily lives and wellbeing of all our citizens.”

Minister Hanafin went on to say “the supports provided by this Department are available to people with multi-faceted needs, covering a range of circumstances and at every stage of their lives from birth through to educational supports, assistance for those seeking jobs as well as those with disabilities and pensioners who have served this state for many decades.”

Some of the main points relating to social welfare expenditure in 2007 were:

  • Social Welfare expenditure was financed by the Exchequer (53.3%) and the Social Insurance Fund (46.7%);
  • Expenditure on State Pensions increased by 18.3% to €3.9 billion. Payments were made to over 350,000 people in this area;
  • Almost 580,000 families received a monthly Child Benefit payment, which was paid in respect of 1.1million children. Expenditure on Child Benefit increased by 8.6% to €2.2 billion;
  • Family Income Supplement was paid to 22,800 families, an increase of 4.7% on the previous year and benefiting over 47,500 children, 8.4% more than 2006. Expenditure on Family Income Supplement increased by 30.7% to €140 million;
  • Expenditure on Jobseekers supports increased by 16.1% to over
    €1.4billion in 2007;
  • Spending on Carer’s Allowance and Carer’s Benefit increased by 26.9% and 61.2% respectively. The numbers in receipt of a Carer’s payment increased from 29,121 to 35,147, an increase of 20.7%.


6th October 2008

Report is available on

Last modified:06/10/2008