Extra €1bn for two departments
More than €1 billion in additional funding is being provided to two Government departments which have massively overspent their budgets for this year.
The supplement budget for the Department of Social Protection this year is €685 million, according to a motion drafted for the Dáil order paper.
Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton has blamed the overspend in her department on the increase in the number of unemployed people claiming benefits.
Meanwhile, the Department of Health is to get a supplementary estimate of €360 million, despite repeated Government promises that no additional funding would be provided to offset its cost overrun.
An additional €162 million is needed for the HSE regions and €234 million to offset the overrun on medical cards and community schemes.
Overspending in the the health services is largely due to increased demand for hospital services and medical cards and a failure to realise promised savings in areas such as drug costs.
Sinn Féin spokesman Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin called for some of the additional money being provided to the Department of Health to be put aside to reinstate home help hours that have been cut in recent months.
A third department, Environment, is also to get a supplementary budget, with the amount involved not yet clear.