Minister Heather Humphreys (FG).

€6.4 billion budget bonanza

Humphreys confirms nine lump sum payments to help with cost of living

The eagerly awaited Budget 2024 appears to have contained something for everything in its €6.4 billion spend, including taxation measures worth some €1.1 billion.

The Minister for Finance Michael McGrath announced the highlights a short time ago while various Ministers are still on their feet in Dáil Éireann setting out the detail from their own Departments.

More than a third of the total spend, €2.3 billion, will be channelled through the Department of Social Protection, headed up by local TD Heather Humphreys.

She has confirmed a number of measures to the Celt aimed at supporting working families, older people, carers and people with disabilities in the Winter months and beyond.

A €12 a week increase across-the-board in Social Welfare payments will kick in from January 1. A €200 cost of living lump sum for pensioners and those in receipt of the Living Alone allowance, as well as a €300 lump sum to all households qualifying for the Fuel Allowance and a double Child Benefit payment before Christmas are among the highlights.

“The measures contained in the Budget are designed to support the most vulnerable in our society with the increased cost of living and there is a particular focus on tackling child poverty,” Minister Humphreys said.

The Hot School Meals programme is to be further rolled out to benefit over 2,000 national schools including many in Co Cavan.

Lump sum payments

- €300 for all households in receipt of the Fuel Allowance.

- €200 for pensioners and people with a disability getting the Living Alone Allowance.

- €400 for all families getting the Working Family Payment.

- Once-off double payment of Child Benefit.

- €400 for people getting the Carer's Support Grant.

- €400 for people getting Disability Allowance, Blind Pension or Invalidity Pension.

- €100 for people getting an increase for a qualified child (to be paid per qualified child)

The Christmas Bonus will be paid to 1.3 million welfare recipients including pensioners, carers and people with disabilities.

A January cost of living bonus will also be paid to most people who get a weekly Social Welfare payment including all pensioners, carers and people on disability payments.


- Extension of child benefit to 18-year-olds in full-time education up to their 19th birthday.

- Increasing the weekly Working Family Payment thresholds by €54.

- Increasing the income threshold for carer’s allowance to €450 for a single person and €900 for a couple.

- Extension of Parent's Benefit by two weeks to nine weeks from August.

- €10 monthly increase in the Domiciliary Care Allowance.

- Reduction of the hourly threshold of employers to avail of the Wage Subsidy Scheme from 21 to 15 hours.

- Extension of Free Travel Scheme to support those people medically certified unfit to drive.


Elsewhere other measures from other departments that look set to be announced include:

- Tax package worth around €800 per person

- Personal, PAYE and earned income tax credits will increase by €100 to €1,875, while the Standard Rate Band will go up by €2,000 to €42,000.

- The lower two per cent rate of Universal Social Charge will apply on earnings up to €25,760; while the higher rate of USC will come down to 4%.

- Mortgage holders hit with ECB rate hikes will be able to avail of tax relief of up to €1,250pa.

- Three energy credits of €150 each.

- Childcare fees are set to be cut by a further 25% next year.

- Renters' Credit is also set to increase in the Budget from €500 to €750 i.e. a tax break of between €600 and €1,000 for those who stayed in the renters market.

- College fees for undergraduate students halved to €1,500 for families with an income of less than €100,000.

- Fees for other full-time undergraduate students were cut by €1,000.

- Free school books for students in the first three years of secondary school.