Budget: Cuts announced in Health, Education and Social Welfare

The Minister for Public Expenditure Brendan Howlin has been outlining the governments spending plans in part one of Budget 2012.

1.4 billion euro worth of savings have been announced with the biggest cuts in the areas of Health, Social Welfare and Education.

In Social Welfare, there will be no overall change to headline Social Welfare payments.

However families with three or more children will feel the pain - the higher rate on childrens allowance payments for the third and subsequent children is to be phased out over a two year period.

The rates of payment for child benefit are to be standardised over two years saving 43 million euro

The age at which which a child qualifies for back to school allowence is being rasied from 2 to 4.

A shorter fuel allowance season is being introduced, moving from 32 to 26 weeks

The job seekers allowence is to be based on a five-day week rather than the existing six-day week basis. This will save 5.9 billion next year.

In the area of Health, measures are to introduced to reduce the price of drugs in a bid to save 112 million euro.

The monthly threshold for the drigs payment scheme is to be increased from 120 euro to 132 saving 12 million euro.

In Education, college registration fees for third level students increases by 250 euro.

The pupil pupil teacher ratio from in private fee paying secondary schools will increase from 20:1 to 21:1 in next school year

Changes to fee and maintenance supports for NEW postgraduate students and reducing maintenance grants GENERALLY will deliver savings of 12.6 million.