Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton has told the Dáil that carers will be excluded from the single working age payment proposals.

Ms Burton said such people were committed to caring and were not available for work.

Answering questions on her social protection brief, Minister Burton said the decision had been made on foot of the recommendations of the Oireachtas Committee report on the issue.

She emphasised that no other decisions have been made on the single payment, including whether or not to proceed with its introduction.

The single payment is a proposal to create a single social welfare payment that will cover all people of working age, including those currently classified as unemployed, with a disability or parenting on their own.

Sinn Féin's Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked for clarity on the half carers’ allowance.

Minister Burton said such carers were usually in receipt of another benefit or in part-time work.

Mr Ó Snodaigh appealed for carers to be allowed to opt into the single payment if they are coming to the end of their term as a carer to ensure they are entitled to some benefit.