Welfare Bill passed in Seanad
The Social Welfare Bill has passed the final stage in the Seanad by a majority of four votes.
Senators endorsed the Bill by 30 votes to 26 with no defection from members of the Government coalition parties.
Yesterday, Labour Senator James Heffernan voted against the Bill in committee stage. Mr Heffernan made the move over the respite care grant and child benefit cuts.
He accused his party of breaking a pledge and he could not "in good conscience be a party to that".
In his view, there was an inherent unfairness in hitting carers and children regardless of their personal financial circumstances, especially when there had been a choice to tax high earners as a temporary solidarity measure. He said he would remain a party member and would commit all his efforts to reversing what he saw as unjust cuts.