Budget 2023: What cost of living measures can we expect?

Package, including a one-off set of measures to combat cost of living, is expected to top €10bn on Tuesday

Alongside the agreed €6.7 billion budget package, the Government is set to introduce a stand-alone once-off set of measures to help with the cost of living which could top €3 billion. Here is what we think we can expect so far.

Education

- Free schoolbooks for primary school children

- Around €10 million for the school bus scheme

- A reduction in the 24:1 pupil-teacher ratio

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- Another 370 special classes, 1,194 special needs assistants and 686 special needs teachers

- Increased funding for psychologists in the National Educational Psychological Service

- The National Council for Special Education is also expected to see a substantial increase in its funding by more than 80 per cent annually

- Proposals to cut the student registration fee by up to €500 went to leaders on Sunday night

Housing

- A tax credit worth €200 for renters for 2023, which could be doubled with additional money this year or indeed next

- Some form of support for small landlords to keep them in the market

Childcare

- Fees to be cut on average by between 20 and 25 per cent

Social Welfare

- A €10-15 hike in payments at a cost of upwards of €1.1 billion

- A double payment of child benefit is likely

- Cost of living excise and VAT cuts to fuel will be extended across the home heating season

- A wider Christmas bonus-style double payment week for general welfare recipients had also been speculated about in addition to the normal end of year one

- There have already been two extra fuel allowance payments this year — €125 in March and €100 in May — and another one is expected, together with other possible tweaks to this scheme and other ones that target “fuel poor” households

- Minister for the Environment Eamon Ryan is expected to secure another commitment to reduced public transport fares of between 20 and 50 per cent

Energy

- A €600 payment for household energy bills split across either two or three payments either side of Christmas

Business

- Low-cost loans, large grants for energy-intensive exporters and manufacturers, and the possibility of either flat payments or a way of providing a discount on the bills for small and medium businesses are all being explored

- A new scheme to help SMEs out with their energy bills

- Donohoe could also increase the tax-free bonus amount an employer can give an employee through the voucher scheme from €500 to €1,000 annually

Budget 2023: What to expect

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Tax

- A shift in the entry rate for the top rate of tax towards €40,000 from its current level of €36,800, which will benefit middle-income earning households

Health

- Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly had been seeking more than the offered allocation of €1.1 billion to fund his priorities around IVF, GP charges, women’s health and free contraception

Tourism

- It looks like the tide is going out on the 9 per cent VAT rate for hospitality

Agriculture

- Support for farmers dealing with price increases associated with the Ukraine invasion, specifically its impact on feed and fertiliser prices

- A substantial allocation is expected from the Brexit Adjustment Reserve fund, with schemes agreed under the Common Agricultural Policy also to be funded

- There will also be schemes to encourage climate changes needed under the carbon ceilings agreed in July, with farmers facing a 25 per cent target in emissions reductions

- The carbon tax will increase as planned by €7.50 per tonne from its current level of €41

Media

- About €6 million for a new media funding scheme supporting local democracy and court reporting among local and national print and broadcast outlets

- Reduction in VAT for print media to zero

Sport

- A multimillion package to enable clubs to pay for floodlighting and other energy-intensive activities over winter, as part of one-off measures to alleviate the impact of the energy crisis

- About €6 million for the sports action plan to help high-performance athletes prepare for the Olympics, support a high-performance programme and coaching fund and has been seeking to treble start-up grants for Gaeltacht in the summer — from €2,000 to €6,000

Gaeltacht

- An increase to Mná Tí funding, for those who take in students in Gaeltacht areas, by 10 per cent

Defence & Justice

- An extra 800 gardaí will be recruited

- Defence Forces spending will be hiked by tens of millions

Colin Gleeson

Colin Gleeson

Colin Gleeson is an Irish Times reporter