Minister Cullen meets voluntary and community groups in pre-Budget forum

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The Minister for Social and Family Affairs, Martin Cullen, TD, today (18 October 2007), hosted a pre-Budget Forum for interest groups in the welfare area. Over 30 groups gathered in Dublin to make submissions to Minister Cullen and his officials on welfare changes and improvements which they would like to see included in the forthcoming budget. The purpose of this annual Forum is to provide organisations with an opportunity to have an input into the budget process.

In his opening address, Minister Cullen said: "The Government is proud of its investment in social provision. This year, my Department will spend over €15.3 billion which is almost 29% of all Government expenditure. Each week, payments are made to over 1 million people benefiting about 1.5 million in all, while Child Benefit is payable to over 560,000 families. The services operated by my Department impact directly on the daily life of almost everyone in this country and this is reflected by the wide spectrum of society represented by your organisations."

Over 30 groups were invited to attend the Forum which was held in St Andrew’s Resource Centre in Dublin. The organisations represented the welfare interests of older people, people with disabilities, lone parents, children, unemployed people, carers and family support groups. (See appendix for list of organisations invited to attend). At the Forum, groups outlined proposals which they considered would make real and positive changes to the lives of the people they represent.

Minister Cullen said: "My priority as Minister for Social and Family Affairs is to make a decisive impact on poverty. I want to target resources on helping those most in need in order, not alone to raise their standard of living, but to ensure that they can take advantage of the employment and educational opportunities our society now provides."


Issued by:
Michelle Hoctor, 087 8563070,
Niamh Fitzgerald, 087 2547232



  • TREOIR (Federation of Services for Unmarried Parents and their Children)

  • Disability Federation of Ireland (DFI)

  • Age Action Ireland

  • Irish Senior Citizens Parliament

  • Retired Workers Committee

  • Saint Vincent de Paul

  • Pavee Point

  • National Federation of Pensioners’ Associations

  • Conference of Religious of Ireland (CORI)

  • National Association of Widows in Ireland

  • Barnardos

  • Carers Association

  • One Family

  • Irish National Organisation of the Unemployed (INOU)

  • Unmarried Fathers of Ireland

  • Cúram

  • Forum of People with Disabilities

  • One Parent Exchange and Network (OPEN)

  • Inclusion Ireland (National Association for People with an Intellectual Disability)

  • National Women’s Council of Ireland
  • People with Disabilities in Ireland (PWDI)

  • ACCORD (Catholic Marriage Counselling Service)

  • Parental Equality

  • Care Alliance Ireland

  • CROSSCARE (Catholic Social Service Conference)

  • Family Solidarity

  • Children’s Rights Alliance

  • Marriage and Relationship Counselling Service (MRCS)

  • Threshold

  • Congress Centres Network (ICTU)

  • Tallaght Welfare Society

  • Irish Countrywomen’s Association (ICA)

Last modified:08/11/2007