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Largest ever spend on welfare up €1.12 billion
Budget Digest
Alleviating Child Poverty
Recognising Carers
Empowering Lone Parents
Supporting Older People

Largest ever spend on welfare up €1.12 billion

  • €13.5 billion expenditure to benefit 1.5 million people.
  • Expenditure on welfare in 2006 double what was spent in 2000.
  • Payments increased by almost four times expected rate of inflation.
  • Includes over €800m on significant increase in rates and €300m social reform programme.
  • Reform programme includes boosts for older people, alleviating poverty and recognising carers.
  • Lower rates increased by €17 per week.

Budget Digest

  • Fuel Poverty Relief -Fuel Allowance increased by €5 per week in major €42m fuel poverty package.
  • Activation Measures - Range of measures in €28 million increased spend on new opportunities for recipients includes new tapered withdrawal of Disability Allowance if in employment or on back to work incentives.
  • Maternity Benefit - Maternity Benefit increased to 80% of reckonable weekly earnings.

Alleviating Child Poverty

  • Over €150m, in addition to rates rise, to be invested in measures.
  • Child Benefit increased – new rates €150 and €185.
  • New childcare measures to benefit low income families.
  • FIS earnings thresholds increased from €19 - €282 per week, in relation to family size.
  • €40 per child rise in Back to School Clothing & Footwear Allowance.
  • More funding for School Meals Initiative.

Recognising Carers

  • €30m support package and rates increase.
  • Special increase makes Carer’s Allowance largest single welfare benefit – rising to €200 and €180 per week.
  • €200 increase brings Respite Care Grant to €1,200.
  • Income disregard increased for Carer’s Allowance.

Empowering Lone Parents

  • Upper earnings income threshold increased by €82 per week to €375.
  • Rates increased by €16 - €17 per week.
  • Further initiatives after reforms report published.

Supporting Older People

  • €50m support package on top of rates increases.
  • Increases of €16 and €14 for Pensioners.
  • New enhanced Non- Contributory Pension to lift thousands onto full entitlement.
  • Means test relaxed and new earnings disregard of €100 a week for Non-Contributory Pensioners.
  • Over 80’s Allowance increased to €10.
  • Fuel Allowance increased by €5 to €14

Download Budget Factsheet 2006 in PDF

Last modified:25/11/2008

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