On The Week in Politics Brian Lenihan did not rule out cuts in Social Welfare rates in the next budget. He certainly indicated that there will be no Social Welfare increases in a period of deflation as we are now entering. He did indicate that the minimum wage would be brought into the tax net year as part of broadening the tax base. That being the case then the government will be forced to cut Social Welfare payments to preserve the attractiveness of work over that of staying on Social Welfare. Social Welfare accounts for about 1/3rd of government spending.