The Social Welfare Bill was passed by the Seanad with 29 Senators voting in favour and 27 against it during the final vote on the legislation.

The Bill will now go to the President to be signed into law.

On the final day of debate on this controversial bill University Senator Sean Barrett said the cut to the respite care grant marked a new low.

However, Labour Senator Marie Moloney said she and her colleagues believed they were doing the right thing to secure a better future for the country.

This bill also reduces child benefit payments, increases PRSI charges and places a tax on maternity payments.

The Bill will result in savings at the Department of Social Protection of around €390m.