By Cate McCurry, PA
The Government will unveil its Budget for 2022 later today, in a package that will amount to €4.7 billion.
Following last-minute discussions among some departments and officials, the details of the Budget were rubberstamped and will be set out on Tuesday afternoon.
Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe and Minister for Public Expenditure Michael McGrath will deliver their speeches in the Dáil chamber at 1pm.
It marks a step on the road to recovery from the pandemic after last year’s budget was made in the Convention Centre.
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Another indication of the Government’s plan to emerge from the Covid crisis is the winding down of emergency spending that propped up the country throughout the pandemic.
The Government last week received a boost when it was confirmed there was a €7 billion reduction in the deficit.
The projected public finance deficit in the summer economic statement was €20 billion, but that has fallen dramatically to €13 billion, with the economy bouncing back from the pandemic faster than expected.
However, Mr McGrath said this would not see the Government “splurge” in the Budget.
The focus will be on addressing rising cost-of-living pressures, as well as housing, childcare and climate action.
Social welfare recipients are in line for an increase of at least €5 across the board.
Ministers are also expected to announce a rise in the fuel allowance for a number of households who qualify for the hike.
People working from home are also set to receive a boost after Tánaiste Leo Varadkar indicated the Budget will include tax incentives.
The Government is expected to announce that people will be able to claim part of their household bills on the days they work from home.
Despite calls from some to increase the weekly pension by €10, it is more likely to rise by €5. It will be the first hike in the pension since 2019.
As part of the Government’s plan to improve childcare services, fees are also expected to be frozen for parents and guardians.
Meanwhile, an increase in the qualified child payment will see more families included in the National Childcare Scheme (NCS).
Mr McGrath described the Budget as “progressive”, saying it will improve the public’s living standards as the country emerges from the pandemic.