Just about half of Ireland's population were recipients of public welfare back in 2015, according to data from the Department of Social Protection and the European Commission.
Last year had up to three million recipients of payments logged into the Department of Social Protection (DSP), with 123,000 beneficiaries of the European Common Agricultural Policy.
Central Statistics Office publishings state that Irish social welfare expenditure was at a costly €20 billion in 2015, up 0.7% from the previous year, despite a fall in unemployment. This also means that there is a rise of 45% in a decade, as back in 2005, expenditure was just €13.7 billion.
The welfare budget peaked at €21 billion in 2011.
Excluding recipients of free travel, electricity discounts, and rent supplement as they would likely be counted elsewhere, results in a net total of 2.4m or 51% of the population.
Public health expenditure grew by 12% between 2006 and 2015 to €14.2 billion. Nevertheless, according to Eurostat, in 2014 Ireland at 20% had the highest current public health expenditure ratio of total expenditure in the European Union.