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Double Child Benefit payment 'before Christmas' announced in Budget 2024

There are several boosts for families in receipt of social welfare benefits in Budget 2024.

CHILD BENEFIT PAYMENTS will be doubled on a once-off basis “before Christmas” as part of Budget 2024, announced today by the Government.

Child Benefit payments are being  extended to those aged over 18 who are still in secondary school. 

Minister for Public Expenditure Paschal Donohoe said that a double payment of the foster care allowance will also be paid this year. 

He said that this budget includes a €400 lump sum payment to recipients of the Working Family Payment, to be paid later this year. 

For the first time, this budget also provides a lump sum payment to each child in receipt of the Qualified Child Increase.

As part of measures being introduced to help struggling families, the fee waiver for transport services will be extended for another year. 

The current, and pre-existing rate of Child Benefit payments is €140 a month for each child. 

It is paid on the first Tuesday of every month. 

Previous to the additional Child Benefit payments being announced, Tanya Ward, CEO of the Children’s Rights Alliance said that Budget 2024 would be a “crunch time” for many issues facing children and young people. 

“If Budget 2024 fails to increase key payments for families on the lowest incomes, the numbers of children in poverty will simply increase. Last year, the Government focused on adult social welfare rates but did little for children on those payments. 

“The foster care payment hasn’t increased since 2009 even though foster carers provide the best outcomes. It costs the State far more to rely on inappropriate emergency accommodation. Failing to increase the foster care payment doesn’t make fiscal sense,” she said. 

Ward added that children in the international protection system were “ignored” in Budget 2023. 

“We are talking about families not being able to pay for a bottle of Calpol or buy shampoo. It’s very basic,” she said. 

Ward also said that free school books for second level would be important to see in the budget. 

“A delay in commencing this programme will mean another generation of marginalised children missed,” she said. 

Minister Donohoe today announced that Junior Cycle students will be included in the free textbook scheme from September next year. 

Measures to tackle child poverty

Donohoe said an extra € million has been allocated to the Central Statistics Office for the Growing up in Ireland Survey. 

The Qualified Child Increase is being raised to €46 per week for under 12s – an increase of €4 for under 12s and to €54 per week for over 12s. 

The hot school meals programme is being expanded to an additional 900 primary schools in 2024. 

The income threshold on the Working Family Payment is being raised by  €54 per week.

You can find full details of today’s Budget announcement in our roundup here

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