The Minister for Children has said she makes no apology for focusing on the needs of low-income families ahead of Budget 2017, which will be announced on 11 October.

Speaking in Tuam, Co Galway, this morning, Katherine Zappone said discussions with Minister for Finance Michael Noonan and Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Paschal Donohoe were continuing.

She said it was her aim to ensure supports were in place for all children, but that her priority was to introduce a new, more effective and targeted way of supporting low-income families by providing subsidies from 2017 onwards.

Ms Zappone said 136,000 children were living in conditions of poverty and people should accept that attention should first focus on providing supports for them.

She said this was part of the package she hoped to introduce during her time in office.

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The minister hopes to increase supports for children in every family but the speed at which this happens is dependent on resources provided to her.

The minister said initiatives like an additional year of pre-school care and the recent introduction of paternity leave benefited all families.

But she said she made no apology for focusing her initial efforts on assisting children in low-income families.