Cabinet agrees €44m water charge subsidies and plan for free GP care for children

Plan for free GP cards for all children over the next three years

Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Tanaiste Joan Burton outside government buildings earlier this month. File photograph: Aidan Crawley

Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Tanaiste Joan Burton outside government buildings earlier this month. File photograph: Aidan Crawley

 

The Government has agreed a €44million package to assist families with the cost of water bills from next year.

The Tanaiste and Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton said households covered by the State’s household benefits package would receive a payment of €25 per quarter.

She said that the move would benefit 415,000 households.

The Minister said this included people over age 70, people with a child receiving a domicilary care allowance, people receiving disability payments and carers. (Do you qualify for the households benefits package?)

Ms Burton said the initiative would cost between €42 and €44 million and that the first payment of €25 would commence in January of next year.

She said this annual €100 benefit ad well as the free water allowance would go a long way towards mitigating the costs involved.

Ms Burton also said the Cabinet had agreed plans to provide free GP cards for all children over the next three years as well as for people over the age of 70.

She said that under the plan, which had been brought to Cabinet today (WED) by the Minister for Health Leo Varadkar, the roll out of free GP cards for children under age 6 would take place later this year.

She said the provision of GP cards would be extended to all primary school children next year while those in secondary school would receive GP cards the year after that.

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