Budget 2022 – all you need to know

Budget 2022 – all you need to know

FINANCE Minister Paschal Donohoe has unveiled a €4.7bn Budget 2022 package today, with key areas such as pandemic supports, childcare and fuel prices set to see expenditure changes.

Paschal Donohoe and Minister for Public Expenditure Michael McGrath introduced Budget 2022 in the Dáil today as Minister Donohoe called it a “path to a better and brighter future” as we emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Some of the key measures included in the Budget in health is free GP care for children aged six and seven as well as free contraception for women aged 17-25.

Threshold for the Drug Payment Scheme will be lowered to €100, while €30 million will be allocated to allow patients greater access to high-tech drugs and dental access to medical card patients will be expanded.

One crucial investment announced today will be €250 million, comprised of €200m to the HSE and €50m for the National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF) allocated in a bid to tackle hospital waiting lists, which have been at an all-time high across the country in recent months.

It is good news for social welfare recipients, with a €5 increase in weekly social welfare payments, €5 increase in weekly payments for pensioners, Fuel Allowance increased by €5 and Living Alone Allowance increased by €3.

The National Childcare Scheme Universal subsidy to be extended to all children aged up to 15 years. Parent’s Benefit will see an increase of two weeks from July 2022 and will be paid for seven weeks.

The younger generation will see the introduction of a youth Travel Card for those aged 19-23 as well as a €200 increase in the maintenance grant payment (SUSI) in the Student Support Scheme.

With an aim to tackle the ongoing housing crisis, it has been announced that 11,820 homes will be delivered through build, acquisition and leasing programmes, with 9,000 of these to be new build homes.

 

€18 million has been allocated for the delivery of traveller accommodation, 11,000 grants to adapt the homes of older people and those with a disability and 14,800 new households are set to have their housing needs met under the HAP payment and Rental Accommodation Scheme.

In a boost for the education and training sector, 1,165 additional SNA’s will be allocated in schools, bringing the total number of SNA’s to almost 19,200.

In disadvantaged schools, the pupil-teacher ratio is to be reduced by one further point by an additional 350 teachers at primary school level.

7,600 places in Further Education and Training courses in key skills areas of the economy will be offered, and 7,000 craft apprentices that have been impacted by Covid-19 will receive off-the-job training. The budget 2022 will also allow the recruitment of up to 800 new trainee Gardaí and 400 Garda staff.

Speaking at the announcement, Minister Donoghue said: “Budget 2022 meets the twin goals of investing in our future, of meeting the needs of today, while putting the public finances on a sustainable path.”

Key measures in Budget 2022

Health

  • free GP care for children aged 6 and 7
  • threshold for the Drug Payment Scheme lowered to €100
  • €250 million to tackle hospital waiting lists
  • free contraception for women aged 17-25
  • €30 million to allow patients greater access to high-tech drugs
  • expanding dental access to medical card patients

Social

  • National Childcare Scheme universal subsidy extended to all children aged up to 15
  • €5 increase in weekly social welfare payments
  • €5 increase in weekly payments for pensioners
  • Living Alone Allowance to be increased by €3
  • Fuel Allowance increased by €5
  • Parent’s Benefit to be paid for 7 weeks (an increase of 2 weeks) from July 2022
  • introduction of a Youth Travel Card for those aged 19-23

Housing

  • 11,820 new social homes will be delivered through build, acquisition and leasing programmes. 9,000 of these will be new build homes
  • €18 million for the delivery of Traveller accommodation
  • 11,000 grants to adapt the homes of older people and people with a disability
  • 14,800 new households to have their housing needs met under the Housing Assistance Paymentand Rental Accommodation Scheme, in addition to supporting almost 82,000 existing tenancies under these schemes

Education and training

  • 1,165 additional SNA’s, bringing the total number of SNA’s to almost 19,200
  • an additional 350 teachers to reduce school staffing schedules by 1 point for all primary schools
  • 7,600 places in Further Education and Training courses in key skills areas of the economy
  • 980 additional special education teachers working in special classes, special schools and mainstream settings to support children with special educational needs
  • off-the-job training places for 7,000 craft apprentices impacted by COVID-19
  • a €200 increase in the maintenance grant payment in the Student Support Scheme
  • recruitment of up to 800 new trainee Gardaí and 400 Garda staff