The Social Welfare & Pensions Bill has passed all stages in the Dáil by 72 votes to 40.

The Bill gives effect to changes announced in the budget with regard to lone parents allowance and the allocation of Mortgage Interest Supplement.

The Bill goes to the Seanad where it will be debated tomorrow.

Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton earlier told the Dáil that nearly 60% of householders receiving the Mortgage Interest Supplement have been on it for over 12 months, while some have been receiving it for up to 72 months.

Ms Burton said the government was looking at other methods in achieveing its objective of protecting people in the family home.

Sinn Féin's Jonathan O'Brien said the changes in the allocation of the MIS being proposed by the Minister would increase the likelihood of mortgage arrears and heighten the possibility of repossessions.

Fianna Fáil's Sean Fleming summed up the Bill as a means of curtailing single parent family payments, and cutting MIS and jobseeker’s benefit.

He said the legislation was shameful coming from a Labour minister.