Tánaiste Joan Burton has said the Government is not considering cutting the State pension. 

Ms Burton was responding to a report in the Irish Times which suggested officials at the Department of Expenditure and Reform were considering a reduction.

The Tánaiste said the Government is committed to maintaining the current State pension rates. 

Pensions will make up 34.4% of all welfare expenditure in 2015, an increase of €168m on this year.

Ms Burton said the discussion paper referred to by the Irish Times "does not represent official Government policy, which is to protect the State pension given its enormous importance to older people." 

She added "there is absolutely no question of any reductions to weekly pension rates."
The Department of Public Expenditure and Reform also issued a statement denying the reports.