Minister for Social Protection, Heather Humphreys

Budget aimed "to support the most vulnerable in our society"

Minister Heather Humphreys outlines the changes implemented in yesterday's announcement

The Budget 2023, which was billed as a “cost of living budget”, was aimed at assisting those who are “most vulnerable in our society”, according to Minister Heather Humphreys.

The Minister of Social Protection lauded the €2.2bn programme as "the largest social protection budget package in the history of the State". However she claimed that even with such an outlay "it is still not possible to meet every demand or do everything we would wish to”.

“Throughout the budget process, I sought to secure resources for pensioners, for carers, for people with disabilities and for working families with children."

Minister Humphreys gave an example where she believed lump sum payments would have a positive impact on those who are struggling the most with the cost of living crisis.

“A person on Disability Allowance who lives alone will receive an extra €2,140 into their pocket as a result of this budget," says Minister Humphreys. “If you apply that over a year, it works out at over €41 per week.”

"As a government we are doing as much as we possibly can and I believe this is a fair and balanced budget package which will significantly ease the financial pressure faced by households throughout the country."

Social protection payments from Budget 2023

  • A cost of living double payment in October to all social protection recipients including pensioners, carers & people with disabilities;
  • A €400 lump sum payment to all households in receipt of fuel allowance to be paid in November;
  • €200 lump sum payment will be provided to all persons in receipt of the Living Alone Allowance which will be paid in November;
  • A double payment of child benefit will be given to all families in November. For families, this means where they would normally receive a payment of €140 per child, they will now receive €280 per child;
  • A €500 lump sum payment will be given to all families in receipt of the working family payment;
  • A lump sum €500 Carer’s Support Grant will be provided to assist carers with the cost of living.
  • The government will give a €500 Disability Support Grant to all people in receipt of disability allowance, blind pension and invalidity pension in recognition of the additional cost of living pressures they face.
  • In December, the Christmas bonus double payment will be paid to all pensioners, carers, persons with disabilities, one parent family payment and other social protection recipients.
  • As we turn to 2023, I am today announcing a €12 euro increase in weekly rates of payment for pensioners and people of working age.
  • Income thresholds on working family payment will be increased by €40 across the board.
  • There will be a raise in rates paid to families of children. Those under 12 will receive €2 extra to €42 per child and the over-12 will be raised by €2 to €50 euro per child.
  • A new means will be put in place to test for fuel allowance for persons aged 70 and over. The means limit will also be raised from €120 to €200 above the contributory pension rate.
  • There will be an increase in the rate of payment from €309.50 to €330 per month under the domiciliary care allowance payment.
  • The earnings disregard on disability allowance will also see an increase to €165 per week to allow those people with disabilities who can work to earn more and retain their social welfare payment.
  • There will be an increase in the top-up rate on employment schemes such as Community Employment, the Rural Social Scheme and Tús by €5 per week.
  • The first €5,000 of income received from agri-environmental schemes is not counted in the means test for the farm assist scheme .
  • A pilot scheme will also be developed and implemented to assist those who are experiencing food poverty.