Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton has said she cannot give any commitment that rates of social welfare will not be cut.

Speaking in Dublin this morning, Minister Burton said it was too early in the Budget process to say what savings would be made.

She said she felt under pressure to reform the system because she felt there was better value for money to be had.

Ms Burton said this was particularly the case in the areas of rent supplements and in how much the Government pays to utility companies.