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Lugh Ildánach

Budget Information

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Here is a summary of the welfare and related budget changes.  Much of what was announced won't become clear for a while, and some of the stuff that was announced could be rolled back.

 

Anyone with any specific questions, feel free to PM me for information on how it may affect them personally.

 

Of course on top of all of these changes, the Department of Social protection plans to save an additional 30 million euro in the coming year by what it calls "control" measures, by removing people's payments, and by forcing people onto workfare schemes.

 

 

Children & Families

 

  • Child Benefit will reduce to 130 per month for each child.  This was announced in last year's budget.
  • The amount a single parent can earn before it affects their One Parent Family Payment reduces to 90 Euro per week.
  • The age that single parents lose their One Parent Family Payment and must make themselves available for "activation" measures reduces to 7 for new claimants.  Reduces to 16 for those already in payment before changes brought in.  (these changes were already announced 2 years ago, and are coming into affect in 2014)
  • Back to School Clothing & Footwear Allowance will no longer be available for children in third level education
  • Single parents who are not the primary carer of the child will no longer be able to claim extra tax credit.  Will result in up to 1650 Euro per year in additional tax bill for those in work.

 

Jobseekers

 

  • New Jobseekers Allowance claimants without dependent children aged 22-24 will receive maximum rate of 100 Euro per week.  This is the same rate that Jobseekers aged 18-21 already receive.
  • New Jobseekers without dependent children aged 25 will receive 144 per week (down from 188)
  • There will no longer be an exception to the lower rates for those people who were previously on Jobseekers Benefit

 

Elderly, Disability/Sickness, Carers & Pregnant mothers

 

  • 9.50 per month assistance with telephone bill for elderly, disabled and carers will be removed
  • Maternity Benefit will be increased by 12.50 for lowest paid workers, will be reduced by up 32 euro for those earning more than 300 Euro per week
  • Illness Benefit will only be available once you are sick for 6 days (is currently 3 days)
  • Pension age goes up to 66 from January (this was announced some time ago).  It will go up to 67 in 2021 and 68 in 2028.
  • Invalidity Pension (long term contribution based pension) will be reduced for those who are 65 to bring payment into line with pensions
  • Free GP care for those under 5, regardless of how much money parents have
  • Medical card guidelines for over 70s will be reduced from 600 Euro to 500 Euro income per week
  • Medical card will be withdrawn for those who enter work, will be replaced with Free GP card only
  • Prescription charges go up from 1.50 Euro to 2.50 Euro.  The monthly cap increases from 19.50 to 25 Euro.
  • Bereavement grant of 850 available upon death of partner/spouse will be stopped

 

Rent/Mortgage Help

 

  • Couples will pay 5 Euro extra a week towards rent supplement
  • Help for mortgage interest payments will be phased out

 

Education

 

  • People will not be able to keep their primary social welfare payment while they receive a Fás training allowance (currently only available for those on Invalidity Pension/Illness Benefit)
  • Those on Fás apprenticeships will have to pay a portion of the student charge
  • Long-term unemployed people on Fás courses will no longer get 20 Euro additional training bonus

 

Resources for those looking at this in more detail:

 

Department of Social Protection budget fact sheet http://www.welfare.ie/en/downloads/budfact14.pdf

Department of Jobs & Enterprise http://www.enterprise.gov.ie/en/News/Over-48-000-new-jobs-to-be-supported-in-2014-through-DJEI-Budget-%E2%80%93-Minister-Bruton.html

Department of Education summary http://www.education.ie/en/Publications/Corporate-Reports/Financial-Reports-List/Budget-2014-Department-of-Education-and-Skills-Information-Leaflet.pdf

Department of Health http://www.dohc.ie/press/releases/2013/20131015.html

Revenue http://www.budget.gov.ie/Budgets/2014/FinancialStatement.aspx

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