The Irish government has announced plans to cut social security benefits for Irish-born families, to ease concerns over the country’s financial health.
The changes, which are to come into effect from March 1, will mean that the country will not be able to cover the cost of the national living wage, the equivalent of a minimum wage.
They will also cut the amount of income a family can receive from state-owned pension funds.
In other words, if a family earns €10,000, they will lose €2,000 in state benefits.
The new measures will mean Irish families will have to pay more into their pension pots than they have before, and will result in some families losing out on €3,000 of their monthly benefit.
The cuts are likely to hit people with lower incomes, especially the elderly.
In some cases, families will be forced to pay up to a third of their income in cash.
There are fears that many people will see their monthly income fall due to the changes.
The Government has been trying to make its finances stronger by cutting taxes, raising the retirement age and reducing the number of people on public assistance.
A recent report by the Institute for Fiscal Studies warned that the cuts to benefits could cost the economy €1.4 trillion over the next three years.
This will affect people of all ages and income groups.
The Budget also includes a range of tax and welfare changes that are expected to further exacerbate the economic downturn, including: Cutting the rate of tax on top earners to 45 per cent from 45 per day