• Largest Social Protection Budget Package in the history of the State
  • Suite of financial supports to assist people with the Cost of Living
  • Double payment of Child Benefit in December
  • €400 Disability and Carer’s Lump Sum in November
  • €400 lump sum for Working Family Payment recipients in November
  • €300 Fuel Allowance lump sum in November
  • €200 lump sum for those in receipt of the Living Alone Increase
  • €100 Per Child once off payment for those who receive an Increase for a Qualified Child on their Social Welfare Payment
  • Christmas Bonus and January Cost of Living Bonus to be paid to 1.3 million people
  • Across the board increases in weekly payments of €12 from January 2024

 

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A €2.3 billion budget package that will support pensioners, carers, people with disabilities and low-income families.

The Social Protection Budget, the largest in the history of the State, will assist families and vulnerable citizens through a mix of lump sum supports and increases to weekly payments.

Across-the-board increases of €12 per week will be combined with a series of lump sum payments in areas such as Carer’s and People with Disabilities, Child Benefit, Fuel Allowance and the Living Alone Allowance.

There will be a Christmas Bonus in December, followed by a January Cost of Living Bonus, which will support pensioners, carers, people with disabilities, jobseekers and families.

Social Protection measures announced today include:

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  • €300 Lump Sum payment to all households receiving the Fuel Allowance payment in November 2023;
  • A double payment of Child Benefit for families receiving this payment to be paid in December 2023;
  • A €200 Lump Sum for pensioners and people with a disability receiving the Living Alone Increase in November 2023;
  • A once off payment of €400 to all carers receiving the Carer’s Support Grant in November 2023;
  • A once off payment of €400 to people receiving Invalidity Pension, Disability Allowance or Blind Pension in November 2023 ;
  • A €400 Lump Sum in November 2023 to families receiving the Working Family Payment;
  • Christmas Bonus in December, followed by a further Double Payment in January to assist with the Cost of Living*; and
  • €100 per child once off payment for those who receive the Increase for a Qualified Child(ren) on their social welfare payment, paid in November 2023.

 

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Further Measures include:

  • New Pay-Related Benefit to be introduced for Jobseekers in Q4 2024
  • Weekly rates of qualified child payments will increase by €4 in January 2024 bringing them to €54 for those aged 12 and over and €46 for under 12s
  • €12 across the board increase in weekly payments from January 2024
  • Carers Allowance Earnings Disregard increased to €450 Single / €900 Couple
  • Domiciliary Care Allowance will increase by €10 to €340 per month with effect from January 2024
  • Free Travel scheme extended to people medically certified unfit to drive from July 2024
  • Minimum weekly hours threshold for employers to avail of the Wage Subsidy Scheme reduced from 21 to 15 hours
  • Hot School Meals scheme to be extended to further 900 Primary Schools who responded to Expression of Interest
  • Working Family Payment thresholds for all family sizes to increase by €54 from January 2024
  • Parent’s Benefit to be extended from 7 weeks to 9 weeks from August 2024
  • Child Benefit extended to 18-year-olds in full time education from September 2024

 

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In relation to the measures being introduced to the Carer’s Allowance, Minister Humphreys said that she was particularly pleased to expand the reach of the scheme by increasing the weekly earnings disregards by €100.

In addition, Carers in receipt of the Carer’s Support Grant will benefit from a €400 lump sum payment in November.  A person who qualifies for both a disability and a half rate carer’s payment will receive one bonus payment of €400.

Recognising the value of in-work supports, Minister Humphreys is assisting low-income working families by providing a lump sum payment of €400 to those receiving the Working Family Payment. In addition, the income threshold for this payment is being increased by €54 for all family sizes.

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A new Pay Related Jobseekers Benefit scheme will be introduced in Quarter 4 2024. This new scheme will link a person’s jobseeker’s payment to their previous earnings and work history, softening the income shock that a worker may face if they suddenly lose their job.

 

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Joe O’Brien, Minister of State for Community Development, Integration and Charities, commented:

This Budget will provide supports for the most vulnerable people in our society through measures such as the increase in the Qualified Child Payment, the Working Family Payment thresholds, the extension of the Hot School Meals and the suite of lump sum payments.

I am particularly pleased to see the payment of €100 for each child in respect of those of whom an Increase for a Qualified Child is in payment & of course every increase in core rates is an important step.

These measures are an important factor towards achieving the target set out in the Roadmap for Social Inclusion and to tackle social exclusion.

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