Primary social welfare payments will not be cut in next month's Budget, according to Minister of State Fergus O'Dowd.

Mr O'Dowd has said that the Government believes it can save €600m by tackling social welfare fraud.

But he said that where people refuse to take a job, they may find that their benefit payments could be cut.

Minister O'Dowd told RTÉ's The Week in Politics programme that other areas such as rent allowance payments are also being examined.