Budget: Spending, tax measures worth nearly €11bn expected
The formal announcement of Budget 2023 will be made in the Dáil this afternoon.
Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe is due to begin his speech in the chamber at 1pm followed 45 minutes later by Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Michael McGrath.
The total size of additional spending and tax measures in today’s Budget and package of one-off measures is now expected to be close to €11 billion.
It is expected to be made up of a budget package of approximately €7 billion and once-off measures of close to €4 billion.
The Taoiseach has said that the budget will assist families, young people and the most vulnerable in what are difficult and uncertain times.
Micheál Martin said the measures in Budget 2023 would cut people’s costs and protect jobs.
The shape of the budget was influenced in large part by rising energy and living costs with the Government set to announce a weekly increase in welfare payments and the State pension of €12.
There are also plans to make up to potentially 80,000 more households eligible for the fuel allowance with a focus on those aged over 70.
An extra €400 one off payment on the fuel allowance coupled with a €200 lump sum for those in receipt of the living alone allowance will be announced today too.
It brings the total increase in spending on social protection measures to around €2 billion following lengthy discussions between Minister for Social Protection Heather Humphreys and Minster McGrath.
Renters are in line to receive a tax credit of €500 this year and a further €500 in 2023.
The point at which people pay the top rate of tax is set to be increased to €40,000 which could benefit workers by up to €800 and €1,600 for a couple.
Double welfare and pension payments in October and December are also on the cards along with an extra Child Benefit payment this autumn.
Childcare fees are to be cut by 25% next year and there will be a €1,000 reduction in third level fees this year and a €500 fee reduction next year subject to an income cap of €100,000.
A further change will see families earning up to €62,000 pay no more than €1,500 in fees from next year plus a double student grant payment is scheduled for December.
The changes were identified as priorities for Minister for Higher Education Simon Harris.
More than 430,000 more people will be eligible to receive a GP Visit card under plans set to be announced today and in-patient hospital fees will be abolished.
The move will mean that for the first time more than half the population will have either a GP Visit card or a full medical card.
Minister McGrath is expected to announce a major package of supports in the current year to assist public service bodies and other organisations across civic society with the cost of energy this winter:
It will include a €100m package for schools to be paid in 2022 to help with energy bills and €60m across arts/culture, sports and community groups.
There will be a €110m package for service providers in the health sector including disability organisations, hospices, nursing homes, mental health groups.
Budget funding is also set to be made available to provide free contraception to women up to the age of 30 under a plan drawn up by Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly.
A publicly funded IVF scheme is set to be phased in as part of spending increases on health measures.
A €500 grant for carers and people with a disability will also form part of the budget.
A payment of €600 to offset rising electricity bills is set to be paid to every household in installments before and after Christmas.
While the Energy Price Support Scheme will see 40% of energy price rises returned to businesses and farms in a monthly Revenue payment which will be capped at €10,000.
Price reductions on public transport will be extended for the duration of 2023.
An additional €67m will be spent on defence next year which is set to be spent on aircraft, Naval Service vessels, radar equipment along with building project at barracks around the country.
A further €47m will be set aside for defence force pay and pensions.
The budget will provide funding for the recruitment of 1,000 new gardaí next year and 400 staff will be hired to allow front line gardaí to return to core policing duties.
While Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts and Media Catherine Martin has secured €7.5m in funding to establish a new commission to oversee online safety and media regulation.
Article Source: Budget: Spending, tax measures worth nearly €11bn expected – Mícheál Lehane – RTE