The Minister for Finance and the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform today (27th September 2022) announced the details of Budget 2023. Although the Budget is generally announced in October, this year, the budget was announced 2 weeks earlier than usual against a backdrop of rising living costs, a deepening energy crisis and geopolitical turmoil.
Addressing the Dáil, the Minsiter for Finance, Paschal Donohoe said,
“If you are an older person, you are having to spend more of your pension on heating your home; if you are looking after a family, you are facing higher grocery bills; if you are running a small business, you are trying to cope with increases in the cost of energy.
That is why Budget 2023, presented by Minister McGrath and I today, is and must be, a “Cost of Living Budget”, focused on helping individuals, families and businesses to deal with rising prices.”
Minister McGrath of the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform added that,
“We know that many of our people are finding it very difficult to make ends meet, face difficult choices in their daily lives, and are seeing their household bills rise seemingly by the day. We know that many are genuinely worried about what lies ahead in the months to come. We know too that many of our businesses that survived Covid, with Government support, now face a new, serious threat in the form of dramatic energy price increases.
Today, we are responding. This is a Budget for its time, a Budget that seeks to respond with unprecedented resources, with a breadth of measures, and a speed of execution we have not seen before.
We do not suggest that this Budget will meet every need. That would not be possible. It is in everyone’s interests that our national finances are managed carefully, and that we guard against current and future risks. But this Budget will make a difference, and people will see that difference quickly.”
Major highlights of Budget 2023 as it relates to social welfare and other support include,
- Increment of weekly social welfare rates by €12 for working age recipients.
- A €12 increase in weekly payments for pensioners.
- Increment of the Working Family Payment threshold by €40.
- A €2 increase in the weekly rate for a qualified child qualified child.
- An increase in eligibility for Fuel Allowance.
- A €500 lump sum for families availing of the Working Family Payment , a €500 lump sum for carers , a €500 cost of disability payment and a €20 increase in the domiciliary care allowance for sick children
- a €1.2 billion package of supports for businesses hit by soaring energy costs.
- An abolishment of all inpatient hospital charges.
- Free contraception for all women aged between 16 and 30.
- €600 electricity credit to all households, with the first payment before Christmas and two more in the new year.
- 25% reduction in weekly childcare fees worth up to €2,106.