Budget 2022: What to expect

Budget 2022, to be unveiled at lunchtime today, is expected to amount to about €4.7 billion — here is where the money will likely go
Budget 2022: What to expect

Budget 2022, to be unveiled at lunchtime today, is expected to amount to about €4.7 billion.

The focus will be on addressing the rising cost of living, as well as housing, childcare and climate action. However, Taoiseach Micheál Martin has warned that there will not be “something for everyone in the audience”.

Of the €4.7 billion package, €1 billion is said to be available for new spending and €500 million is for tax measures – here is where you can expect the money to go.

Welfare and pensions

  • Pensions, jobseeker’s allowance and most other social welfare rates will rise by €5 a week from January.
  • A full Christmas bonus will also be paid.
  • Other increases will see the back-to-school allowance rise by €10, carer's allowance rise by €5, and the living alone allowance rise by €3.
  • The weekly fuel allowance will rise by €5 immediately.
  • The qualified child payment will increase by €2 to €40 for under-12s, and by €3 to €48 for over-12s.
  • There will also be a €10 increase in the income threshold for the working family payment.

Income taxes and working from home

  • Tax credits will be indexed and bands will offset the impact of inflation on people’s take-home pay.
  • People working from home will be able to defray the cost of utilities against the tax they pay.
  • If the minimum wage increases in January, the threshold for universal social charge will as well, in order to keep the tax burden of those on this wage at a similar level.

Childcare and parenting

  • A package of €100 million is expected for next year, which may rise to €200 million annually once ramped up.
  • The National Childcare Scheme will be expanded, along with additional funding for Tusla and youth sector.
  • The State will invest directly into childcare services to improve staff pay, in return for a commitment not to increase fees.
  • There will be an extra two weeks of parental leave from next August.

Housing and homelessness

  • The help-to-buy scheme will be extended.
  • €194 million is allocated for homeless services, and €18 million for Traveller accommodation schemes.
  • €65 million is allocated for housing adaptation grants, and €85 million for retrofitting.

Health

  • There is less than €1 billion for Covid-19 funding, down from €2 billion in Budget 2021.
  • €200 million is allocated to tackle waiting lists and there is new funding of around €100m in disability services.
  • Spending on women’s health package will quadruple to €20 million and separately there will be a €10 million package for free contraception.
  • There will be free GP care for children up to the age of seven, along with changes to children’s hospitality charges.
  • The Drug Repayment Scheme limit will decrease to €100 from €114.

Climate

  • €200 million is allocated for the retrofitting of more than of 20,000 homes, and there will be 4,500 free home upgrades for low-income or energy-poverty households.
  • €360 million will be spent on active travel measures, and those aged between 19 and 23 will get a 50 per cent reduction in all public transport costs.
  • Carbon tax will rise by €7.50 per tonne, resulting in an estimated €1.28 extra on a 60-litre tank of petrol and €1.48 more for a full fill of diesel from midnight on Tuesday.

Policing

  • An additional 800 gardaí will be recruited next year.
  • There will be €2 million for a new community safety innovation fund.
  • €13 million is designated to help tackle domestic, sexual and gender-based violence.

Education

  • There will be an extra 980 teachers in special education, and 1,165 more special needs assistants.
  • The pupil/teacher ratio will be reduced by one point at primary level.
  • The Susi student grant will also be increased for those in higher and further education.

Arts and tourism

  • A €100 million recovery package will focus on sustainable recovery, festivals and nightlife activities.
  • A €25 million fund will help venues hold events after they reopen towards the end of the month.
  • A pilot basic income scheme for artists will be introduced from January.

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