80. Deputy Willie O’Dea asked the Minister for Social Protection her views on the recommendations of the Advisory Group report on Tax and Social Welfare chaired by Ita Mangan; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 11426/13 asked on 05 Mar 2013 - Advisory Group on Tax and Social Welfare)

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton) (Deputy Joan Burton): In 2013, my Department will spend over €2.8 billion on supports to families and children, of which €1.9 billion will be on child benefit, €220 million on FIS, €694 million on qualified child increases and €49 million on the back to school clothing and footwear allowance. This amounts to a very significant part of the Department of Social Protection budget, around 14% of total.
We need to be sure that this major investment...

55. Deputy Willie O’Dea asked the Minister for Social Protection her views on the expert group advice on the future of the disability allowance for persons aged 16 to 18 years; her future plans for the disability allowance payment for persons aged 16 to 18 years; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44638/12 asked on 16 Oct 2012 - Advisory Group on Tax and Social Welfare)

(Deputy Joan Burton): I propose to take Questions Nos. 53, 55 and 56 together. 
Creating jobs and tackling poverty are two of the key challenges that Ireland faces and it is essential our tax and social protection systems play their part in addressing these issues. To this end, and in line with commitments contained in the programme for Government, I established last year the advisory group on tax and social welfare, with the aim of harnessing expert opinion and experience to examine a number o...