Thursday, 13 October 2011
Dáil Éireann Debate
24. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald asked the Minister for Social Protection if she will publish an analysis of the distributive and poverty impacts on families of budget 2012 tax or welfare package prior to the finalisation of the budget and the Dáil Votes. [29048/11]
32. Deputy Sandra McLellan asked the Minister for Social Protection her views that her Department’s analysis of the distributive and poverty impacts on families of the budget 2012 tax or welfare package should supplement the relative at risk of poverty measure with a mechanism to gauge the impact on minimum essential incomes, that is, the capacity of households to secure a standard of living which meets their physical, psychological and social needs, UN definition of adequate lifestyle; and if, to this end, she will incorporate and build on the Vincentian Partnership for Social Justice’s work on minimum essential budgets. [29049/11]
I am aware of the research of the Vincentian Partnership for Social Justice on minimum essential budgets for selected household types. I met representatives of the partnership when they made a submission on its work at my Department’s pre-budget forum on 16th September.  In addition, my Department and the partnership jointly participated in an EU peer review on the use of minimum essential budgets for drawing up the requirements of a minimum income scheme and assessing adequacy in 2010, a report on which is available on the EU peer review website.
I understand that the partnership will in due course update its analysis of minimum essential budgets to take account of budgetary changes and adjustments in the cost of living. I look forward to receiving this updated analysis.
My department undertook an analysis of the distributive and poverty impacts on families of the Budget 2011 tax and welfare package, in conjunction with the Department of Finance. I arranged for this to be published on the department’s website in March 2011. It is my intention that a similar analysis of Budget 2012 will be published early next year.
As part of the deliberative process for Budget 2012, my department will analyse, in so far as possible, the distributive and poverty impact of possible welfare changes prior to the finalisation of the Budget. Due to the requirements of the budgetary process, it will not be possible to publish this material prior to the finalisation of the Budget and the associated Dáil votes.
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