Social package of around 350 million euros planned in the budget


An increase of at least € 5 in the weekly state pension and a similar increase in other basic social benefits should be part of Tuesday’s budget.

The leaders of the three coalition parties are expected to meet later in the evening with the Minister of Finance and the Minister of Public Expenditure and Reform.

A social envelope of around 350 million euros is expected, with five additional euros expected from the weekly payments including the allowance and the jobseeker’s allowance, the carer’s allowance and the disability allowance. .

It is understood that the government is also considering increasing the rates of the “skilled child” scheme – which makes additional payments to welfare recipients who are parents.

However, an increase in the monthly child allowance should not be part of the budget envelope.

Government sources have said that up to two-thirds of workers will benefit from changes in income tax brackets, which will expand the amount of money taxed at the lower rate.

Income tax cuts to allow workers to recoup up to a third of expenses incurred for electricity, heating and broadband bills on days they work from home are also expected.

Read more: Lower deficit forecast due to insufficient spending and tax levies

It is understood that changes to the fuel allowance, with respect to rates, eligibility or payments for an additional week, are still under discussion.

Free contraception for women aged 17 to 25 is also expected to be announced. Investments in a number of clinical strategies, including the National Strategy on Maternity and the National Strategy against Cancer, are also expected.

The decision on whether or not to pay a Christmas wellness bonus should be made at the last minute, as it will be this year’s money rather than next year.

Traditionally, this double payment in December was paid to people entitled to social assistance for at least fifteen months. But last year that was changed to four months due to the number of people on the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP).

Subsidized child care likely to be extended

Parents are expected to get more subsidized childcare hours in the budget, as part of plans being finalized this weekend.

A childcare package will aim in particular to support families in disadvantaged neighborhoods and to facilitate the return of parents to the labor market.

The measures will focus on the National Childcare Scheme (NCS) which offers grants of up to € 22.50 per week for infants under three years old.

But the measures will not see any rate hikes amid concerns that this could be wiped out by fee hikes by child care providers.

Instead, the program is likely to be expanded to provide more hours of subsidized care. The hours are currently linked to the school year. This would likely mean that babysitting hours would be provided outside of the school calendar.

Other measures will focus on investing in child care providers to help retain staff.

An extension of the separate Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) program for preschoolers is not expected to be among the measures to be announced on Tuesday.

Additional reports: Robert Shortt


Leave A Reply