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Welfare

State pension and core social welfare payments to increase by €5 per week

A range of other social welfare increases was announced.

THE STATE PENSION and the core social welfare payments are to increase by €5 per week from January.

The measures were announced today by Minister for Public Expenditure Micheal McGrath as part of Budget 2022, where social welfare measures worth €558 million were announced.

This will bring the full State pension to €253.30 per week and the maximum personal rate of Jobseeker’s Allowance and Jobseeker’s Benefit with no dependents to €208 per week.

The increase will be applied proportionately to lower rates and for qualified adults.

For Jobseekers payments, there will be an increase for a dependent under 12 of €2 or €3 for those over 12.

While these measures will not come into effect until 2022, a €5 increase to the Fuel Allowance comes into effect from midnight.

The income limit to qualify for the Fuel Allowance is rising to €120 above the maximum State pension contributory rate. The qualifying period on Jobseekers Allowance and Supplementary Welfare Allowance will fall from 15 to 12 months.

Active Retirement Ireland said the €5 increase to the State pension was ‘not sufficient to meet the increased cost of living for older people’.

“Failing to bring the state pension to a rate of 34% of average weekly earnings and not triple-locking it to guarantee it increases in line with the rate of inflation or average earnings growth, demonstrates a lack of long-term planning that the Government promised older people,” CEO Maureen Kavanagh said.

Other measures announced include:

  • The Living Alone Allowance will increase by €3 per week
  • The duration of Parents Benefit will increase by two weeks to seven weeks (July 2022)
  • There will also be a €10 increase in the Back-to-School Allowance, and the income thresholds for one- and two-parent households will be equalised (June 2022)
  • The threshold for the Working Family Payment will increase by €10
  • The income disregard for the Carers Allowance will increase for €332.50 to €350 for a single person and from €665 to €750 for a couple, while the capital disregard will rise from €20,000 to €50,000 (June 2022)
  • The earnings limit on Disability Allowance will rise from €350 to €375, with the general means disregard rising to €7.60 per week (June 2022)
  • The period during which the Domiciliary Care Allowance can be paid for children in hospital is increasing from three to six months 
  • The rate of the Wage Subsidy Scheme for people with disabilities will rise by €1 per hour
  • The number of contributions required to qualify for Treatments Benefit will increase from 260 to 39 for 25 to 28 year olds
  • There was no change to the Christmas bonus, which has been paid in full since Budget 2019.

More details as we get them.

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