Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe.

€10 billion Budget bonanza

Families with young children and those on Social Welfare benefits are set to be among the biggest beneficiaries of Budget 2023 to be unveiled this afternoon.

Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe is set to outlined details of his €10bn plus budget in Dáil Eireann from around 1pm.

A €12 increase in social welfare payments is among measures contained in Budget 2023.

In one of the most heavily leaked announcements ever, the annual statement contains measures to reduce the burden on households and businesses struggling under record inflation and energy prices.

A €20 increase in social welfare payments had been mooted in recent weeks. Speculation then saw that reduced to €15 a week, before Social Protection Minister Heather Humphreys confirmed on Monday an increase of the order of €12 a week would be confirmed.

An overall package of at least €10 billion has been drawn up by the Government.

Households can expect a total of €600 to go towards rising electricity bills, made up of three payments of €200. Businesses will be eligible to receive up to €10,000 a month towards electricity bills.

Changes to the eligibility criteria for schemes such as the winter fuel allowance are also to be introduced.

The Finance Minister has described Budget 2023 as a "significant intervention in our economy", which will protect jobs.

Among the other announcements are free school books for primary school children in a move that could cost €47 million. A pilot scheme has been running in a number of schools across the country, with it now set to be rolled out across the country on a permanent basis.

Childcare fees are also to be reduced, in more good news for struggling parents. A cut of up to 25% is to be introduced there. While a double Child Benefit payment is set to be paid in November.

The 9% VAT rate for the hospitality sector is also unlikely to continue. Introduced as a support measure following the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdowns, many such businesses across the country were accused of price gouging during the summer with calls for the reduced rate not to be continued.

An increase in the number of gardaí, teachers and nurses is also expected, as well as cuts to university and college fees.

There's some relief for renters too who are expected to receive two tax credits, totalling €1,000, while the entry point for the top tax bracket is to rise to €40,000 per annum.

* For the latest on Budget 2023 measures and reaction, the Celt will carry a live blog.

Click here to read the latest announcements as they are made.