I came across an interesting letter in the Business Post under the heading "failure of welffare rules" claiming that more than 40% of welfare recipients are now foreign nationals. Sunday Business Post | Irish Business News
If these people are receiving welfare pro rata with Irish people then there is a welfare spend of over 9 billion on them which is over twice the now proposed cutbacks by Lenihan.
In 2004 Bertie Ahern agreed to allow people from the accession states into the country without any restrictions. This means that foreign nationals can get Irish benefits even if they did not pay the full PRSI contribution in Ireland by moving their welfare credits from their native country.
The letter writer proposes stopping welfare benefits to foreign nationals who have not paid the full necessary PRSI in Ireland. This would be in line with the policy in France and Germany.