Welfare and Pension Increases in Budget 2018
The State Pension will be Increased by €5 a week from the end of March 2018. There will be proportional increases for dependant adults and those on reduced rates. ( This is estimated to cost €116 million in 2018 ).
Welfare Benefits : All weekly rates of working age benefits are to increase by €5 a week from the end of March 2018 . This includes Jobseekers, Farm Assist, One Parent Family Payment, Carers Allowance , Disability, Invalidity, Maternity , Supplementary Welfare.
The €5 increase also applies to Jobseekers aged under 26 who are on a reduced rate of payment. (other reduced rates will get proportionate increases ).
The €5 increase also includes employment programmes such as CE, TÚS and Rural Social Scheme.
This increase will cost €147 million in 2018.
(No change to Child Benefit)
Working Family Payment – There had been talk for a couple of years of a new “Working Family Payment” – but it seems that all that has happened in Budbet 2018 is that Family Income Supplement has just been renamed the Working Family Payment !
Welfare Christmas Bonus : Will be paid at 85% again for Christmas 2017 – more details here
New telephone support payment (“Community Support Allowance”) of €2.50 per week for those on the living alone allowance ( subject to the same eligibility conditions as the Fuel Allowance) This is due to start in June 2018 .(Estimated cost €9.4 million in 2018) . It is expected that just 124,000 people will be eligible for this. We assume it will be paid automatically to those that are eligible.
Fuel allowance payment period to be exetended from 26 weeks to 27 weeks – costing €8.5 million in 2018.
Earnings disregard for One parent Family Payment rising by €20 a week.
FIS qualification threshold rising by €10 a week (Now called Working Family Payment)
Prescription charges for under 70s will be bought in linewith over 70s – the charge will be reduced to €2 an item (from €2.50) and the maximum per family will be €20 per month on all items. (Jan 1st 2018)
Drugs Payment Scheme– monthly threshold reduced from €144 to €134 from Jan 2108
Housing Assistance Payment – an extra €301 million to be allocated
enabling more than 17,000 additional households to be accommodated under the Housing Assistance Payment.