Budget 2023: Once-off €1,100 pension boost among last-minute giveaways as social welfare rises €12

Pensioners are in line for one-off payments of up to €1,100 before the end of the year under a series of last minute social welfare spending measures agreed by the Coalition.

double payment of the €253 per week state pension will be paid twice in the coming months – once soon after the Budget and then again in December.

Pensioners in receipt of the Living Alone allowance will receive a separate €200 payment while those claiming the Fuel Allowance are in line for once-off €400 lump sum on top of their usual rate.

Social Protection Minister Heather Humphreys also struck a deal which will see the Fuel Allowance scheme extended to up to 80,000 people who currently do not qualify for the payment.

This will mean around 450,000 people will be able to claim the welfare payment over the coming months.

Ms Humphreys also secured a €12 per week increase in all social welfare rates in the new year, along with a special once-off €500 payment for carers and people with disabilities this year.

Meanwhile, Health Minister Stephen Donnelly received funding for a major expansion of the GP visit card scheme. More than 430,000 people will become eligible for the first time for the means-tested scheme once changes to income limits are enacted after the Budget.

The moves means around 2.5 million people, or half the population of the country, will have access to a free GP visit card or medical card and is part of the minister’s plan to introduce universal health care.

The measures for older and vulnerable people are key items in an almost €10bn Budget to be announced today as the Government battles to address the escalating cost-of-living crisis that has hit almost every household in the country.

The massive budget-day package will aim to alleviate the financial burden experienced by millions of families by cutting state fees for health and education while also significantly increasing welfare payments and reducing income taxes.

At 1pm in the Dáil, Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe and Public Expenditure Minister Michael McGrath will reveal details of more than €7bn in new spending measures and tax cuts for the year ahead.

Mr McGrath will separately detail a €2.7bn euro cost-of-living package which will feature a series of one-off spending measures to help people struggling to pay bills due to record levels of inflation.

The centrepiece of the cost-of-living package will be the introduction of a €600 electricity credit taken off energy bills in three instalments over the coming months.

Parents are also set to benefit from a double payment of the monthly Child Benefit which will be worth €840 to a family with three children.

There will also be a two double payments of welfare rates between now and the end of the year.

Mr Donohoe is expected to reveal that the top rate of tax at 40pc will only apply to income above €40,000 when changes to tax bands come into effect in the new year.

The personal tax credit will rise from €1,700 to €1,775, while the employee tax credit and the earned income tax credit will both increase by the same amount.

The tax changes are set to save single people around €800 a year and couples €1,600.

Meanwhile, businesses will get up to €10,000 a month paid in their electricity or gas bills as part of a €1bn scheme.

Small to medium enterprises will have 40pc of their increases in electricity or gas bills paid up to a maximum of €10,000 per month.

The country’s defence budget is set to be more than €1.1bn next year as Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney seeks to address shortfalls in funding in the Defence Forces.

This will includes €176m on building projects at barracks, new vessels for the navy, new aircraft for the Aer Corp and more armoured vehicles for the Army.

Read More: Budget 2023: Once-off €1,100 pension boost among last-minute giveaways as social welfare rises €12

2022-09-26 18:30:00

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