Budget 2019: Caring and Responsible
As Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection, I was honoured to announce a social welfare package worth €20.5 billion today in Budget 2019. This includes an extra €361 million in additional social welfare expenditure. For the second year in a row I was able to work towards reversing the cuts made over the last 10 years, as well as work on key issues like helping the self-employed, carers, and children in poverty.
Prioritising families in the budget
Since becoming Minister, I have been committed to prioritising the needs of families, especially those on lower incomes and lone parents. Working parents who each day strive to balance the needs of their families and the demands of their workplaces make an immense contribution to Irish society and the Irish economy. The social welfare changes in this Budget recognise these important roles, as well as the additional challenges faced by lone parents.
Changes and introductions in Budget 2019
Below is a brief summary of the introductions and changes I have made as Minister as part of Budget 2019.
- €5 increase in max. rate of all weekly payments e.g. pensioners, lone parents, jobseekers, carers, people with disabilities, widows – 1.47 million beneficiaries
- Proportionate increases for people on reduced rate payments and for qualified adult dependants
- €5.20 increase for qualified child dependants aged 12 and over, in all weekly payments
- €2.20 increase for qualified child dependants up to age 12 in all weekly payments
- €25 increase in the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance for each qualifying child
- Earnings disregard for Working Lone Parents increased by €20 to €150 per week
- Working Family Payment recipients to benefit from a new maintenance disregard
- New hot School Meals Pilot Programme for DEIS schools to commence in 2019
- Daily Expenses Allowance (formerly Direct Provision Allowance) to increase to €38.80 for adults and to €29.80 per week for children
- One additional week of Fuel Allowance (to 28 weeks) in 2019 – 373,800 households to benefit
- New Social Insurance Parental Benefit payment – to be paid for 2 weeks for each parent – to commence in November 2019
- Self-employed to become eligible for Jobseeker’s Benefit from Quarter 4, 2019
- €2 million increase for materials funding for Community Employment Scheme
- National Minimum Wage increases to €9.80 per hour from 1 January 2019
- A 100% Christmas Bonus will be paid in early December 2018 to 1.2 million recipients