- Largest package in the history of the State to support pensioners, carers, people with disabilities and low-income families
- Suite of immediate financial supports to assist families with the Cost of Living
- Up to 81,000 new households to benefit from major expansion of Fuel Allowance Scheme
- Double payment of Child Benefit in November
- €500 Cost of Living payment for people receiving Carer’s Support Grant
- €500 Cost of Living Disability Support Grant to be paid to all people receiving a disability payment
- Households in receipt of the Working Family Payment to receive €500 lump sum
- Across-the-board increases in weekly payments of €12 from January 2023
The Minister for Social Protection, Heather Humphreys TD, has today announced a €2.2 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 with the Cost of Living through a mix of lump sum supports and increases to weekly payments.
Minister Humphreys has also secured a major expansion of the Fuel Allowance Scheme – which will see up to 81,000 new households supported with their fuel cost for the first time.
Across-the-board increases of €12 per week will be combined with a series of lump sum payments in areas such as Child Benefit, Fuel Allowance and the Living Alone Allowance.
There will be an Autumn Cost of Living Double Payment, followed by a Christmas Bonus Double Payment, which will support the likes of pensioners, carers and people with disabilities.
Further Social Protection measures announced today include:
- €400 Lump Sum payment to all households receiving the Fuel Allowance payment in November;
- A double payment of Child Benefit for families receiving this payment to be paid in November;
- A €200 Lump Sum payment for pensioners and people with a disability receiving the Living Alone Allowance;
- A once off payment of €500 to all carers receiving the Carer’s Support Grant in November
- A once off payment of €500 to people receiving Invalidity Pension, Disability Allowance and Blind Pension; and
- A €500 Lump Sum payment to families receiving the Working Family Payment
Further measures also delivered include:
- Qualified Child Payments in weekly rates will be increased by €2 in January 2023 bringing them to €50 for Over 12s and €42 for Under 12s
- Farming Families – Changes to Farm Assist Means Test from January 2023 to exempt income from Agri-Environmental Schemes up to €5,000
- €12 increase in Maternity/Paternity/Adoptive/Parent’s Benefit from January 2023
- Means assessment threshold for Fuel Allowance increases from €120 to €200 with effect from January 2023
- Half-rate Carer’s Allowance will be disregarded in the means assessment for Fuel Allowance with effect from January 2023
- Domiciliary Care Allowance will increase by €20.50 to €330 per month with effect from January 2023.
- Domiciliary Care Allowance will be available in respect of children with severe illness or disability who remain in hospital for up to six months after birth
- Disablement Benefit will be disregarded in the means assessment for Fuel Allowance with effect from January 2023
- €1 Million Expansion of the Reasonable Accommodation Fund to support people with disabilities in the Workplace
- The earnings disregard for Disability Allowance and Blind Pension will be increased from €140 to €165 with effect from January 2023
Announcing today’s Social Protection Budget, Minister Humphreys said:
“I’m pleased to announce the largest single Social Protection package in the history of the State.
“The €2.2 billion package is designed to support the likes of our pensioners, our carers, people with disabilities and low-income families at a time when the Cost of Living is causing significant concern.
“I’m particularly pleased to have secured a major expansion of the Fuel Allowance Scheme, which will benefit up to 81,000 new households for the first time.
“Our carers and people with disabilities also need our support. That’s why I’m pleased to have secured separate €500 lump sum payments for those in receipt of the Carers Support Grant and a Disability payment.
“And in recognition of the pressures facing low and middle income families, I’ve secured a double child benefit payment in November. In addition, funding for the Hot School Meals has increased by €23 million to allow for continued expansion of the scheme.
“In addition, in December, the traditional Christmas Bonus will also be paid to 1.3 million people. That will follow an Autumn Double lump sum payment in October.”
Minister Humphreys continued:
“As we head towards 2023, I am today announcing a €12 increase in weekly rates of payment for pensioners and people of working age. I will be allocating an additional €883 million through this measure with other measures including extension of Fuel Allowance Coverage and improvements to the Domiciliary Care Allowance, bringing the total funding for new measures for next year to over €1bn
“In practical terms, this means that the basic social welfare increase for a working age two-adult household will be over €20 euro per week.”
In relation to the measures being introduced to the Fuel Allowance scheme, Minister Humphreys said that she was particularly pleased to expand the reach of the scheme whereby up to 81,000 additional households could now qualify for the scheme.
In addition, the Department of Social Protection’s Half Rate Carer’s Allowance and its Disablement Benefit will no longer be taken into account in the means assessment for the Fuel Allowance.
Recognising the value of in-work supports, Minister Humphreys is assisting low-income working families in November by providing a lump sum payment of €500 to those receiving the Working Family Payment. In addition, the income threshold for this payment is being increased by €40 for all family sizes.
People receiving a Disability Allowance in employment can retain a higher proportion of their earnings from January.
Carers in receipt of the Carer’s Support Grant will benefit from the €500 lump sum payment in November.
Joe O’Brien, Minister of State with responsibility for Community Development and Charities commenting on Budget 2023 said:
“This Budget also increased supports for people involved in our employment support schemes.
“Participants of CE, Tús and the Rural Social Scheme will receive a combined increase of €17 per week with effect from January.”
Minister O’Brien added that next year he will be developing a pilot scheme to address food poverty.
Minister Humphreys reminded all social welfare recipients, including, people receiving Child Benefit or a pension who have a KBC or Ulster Bank Account to ensure that they make the necessary arrangements to have their payments made into an alternative account.
Concluding, Minister Humphreys said:
“The Government will continue to monitor the cost of living situation closely. Today we have provided an unprecedented response that aims to ease the financial pressure – insofar as we can – on households throughout the State.”
Budget Factsheet and further details available at www.gov.ie/DSPBudget23