Was announced on 14 October 2014. The main changes that may affect members of the Traveller community are set out below. This is not a complete statement of the measures announced in Budget 2015.
National Traveller MABS will strive to keep you updated with measures that may impact on you. Meanwhile for a full list of the Budget changes, please see the Department of Finance website, budget.gov.ie. You can find a summary of the social welfare changes on the Department of Social Protection's website, welfare.ie.
Changes to some Social Welfare benefits
Child Benefitwill increase by €5 to €135 per month for each child from January 2015. It is proposed that it will increase by a further €5 in 2016
The Living Alone Allowance, paid to older people who live alone will be increased by €1.30 to €9.00 per week from January 2015.
A Water Support payment of €100 per year will be paid to pensioners, people with disabilities and carers who qualify for a Household Benefits Package. An additional €100 per annum will be paid to all Fuel Allowance recipients who do not already get the Household Benefits Package. Fuel Allowance is paid to people getting long-term payments such as Jobseeker’s Allowance (over 15 months) and One-Parent Family Payment.
A Christmas Bonus of 25% will be paid this December to people getting a long-term social welfare payment (minimum payment of €20) to help with costs over this period. The Christmas Bonus will be paid to people getting the following: State pensions, Invalidity Pension, Widow’s/Widower’s/Surviving Civil Partner pensions, Guardian’s payments, One-Parent Family Payment, Deserted Wife’s Benefit, Carer’s Allowance, Pre-Retirement Allowance, Disability Allowance, Farm Assist, long-term Jobseeker’s Allowance, Back to Work Allowance, Community Employment, Job Initiative, Rural Social Scheme, Tús, Gateway, Domiciliary Care Allowance and certain occupational injuries benefits.
Back to Work Family Dividend -A new Back to Work Family Dividend will be introduced for lone parent and long-term jobseeker families with children who find or return to work from January 2015. This will also apply to lone parent and long-term jobseeker families with children who start or return to self-employment.
The Qualified Child Increase of €29.80 per week will be paid in full for the first year in employment and half that amount will be paid weekly for the second year. This amounts to €1,550 per child in Year 1 and €775 in Year 2.
The Back to Work Family Dividend will be paid in addition to any entitlement the family may have under the Family Income Supplement (FIS) scheme and will not affect the level of the FIS payment.
Traveller accommodation and support- Funding of €4 million will be provided for the management and maintenance of Traveller halting sites and to fund social workers on related duties.
- Local authorities are to provide 946 housing units through direct building and acquisition. 440 housing units will be provided through voluntary housing bodies and co-operatives.
- Up to150 new homes will be provided in the community for people with disabilities who are leaving institutional care and 400 new housing units will be provided for people with specific needs
- 1,000 vacant housing units will be refurbished and brought back into use in 2015.
- An extra €3 million will be provided for regeneration/remedial works in disadvantaged communities.
- €40.4 million will be provided for approximately 7,600 housing adaptation grants for older people and people with a disabilit
- It is expected that 8,000 households will transfer from Rent Supplement to the new Housing Assistance Payment. Up to 2,000 new transfers are expected under the Rental Accommodation Scheme.
- Approximately 3,000 leased housing units will become available during 2015.
- €10 million is allocated for the mortgage-to-rent scheme.
- Homelessness- Funding for homelessness services is increased by €10.5 million to €55.5 million.
Cigarettes: A packet of 20 cigarettes is being increased by 40 cent (including VAT) with effect from midnight on 14 October 2014.
Roll-your-own tobaccois being increased by an additional 20 cent (including VAT) per 25g pouch with effect from midnight on 14 October 2014.
The standard rate band of income tax will increase by €1,000 from €32,800 to €33,800 for single individuals and from €41,800 to €42,800 for married one earner couples.
The higher rate of income tax will reduce from 41% to 40%.
Tax relief on water chargesat 20% will be provided, up to a maximum of €500 per annum. This relief will be paid in arrears.
The Seed Capital Scheme is being rebranded as "Start-Up Relief for Entrepreneurs" (SURE) and being extended to individuals who have been unemployed up to 2 years.
Universal Social Charge (USC)
Incomes of €12,012 or less will be exempt from USC. Once your income is over this limit, you will pay the relevant rate of USC on all of your income.
A relief from DIRT on savings used by first time house buyers towards the deposit on a home is being introduced.Employment and Business
The 3 Year Relief for Start-up Companies provides relief from corporation tax on trading income (and certain capital gains) of new start-up companies in their first 3 years of trading.
Funding for Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) has been increased. It is expected this will help the LEOs to support the creation of up to 1,600 new jobs, to provide Start Your Own Business courses to over 3,000 participants and to assign almost 2,800 mentors to their clients in 2015.
Supports for Unemployed people
JobsPlus: The number of positions for long-term unemployed people on the JobsPlus scheme is being doubled to 6,000. In addition, a new JobsPlus strand for young people will be launched early in 2015 under the Youth Guarantee.
The JobPath initiative has been allocated €12 million in 2015. This will match long-term unemployed people with appropriate training and employment opportunities.
The Seed Capital Scheme is being rebranded as "Start-Up Relief for Entrepreneurs" (SURE) and being extended to people who have been unemployed for up to 2 years.
In 2015 the Pathways to Work strategy will be supported by €1.6 billion and will be made available to provide approximately 300,000 work and training places.
Community Employment (CE)will be given almost €16 million in additional funding and total funding of €373 million for 25,500 places in 2015, including:
- €29 million for 2,200 places on the new 3-year community-based childcare programme
- €15 million for over 1,000 places on the Drug Rehabilitation Schemes
- Roll-out of the new Health and Social Care programme
The Local Community Development Programme supporting one-to-one labour market training for 10,000 people who are distanced from the labour market will end in Q1 2015. Its successor, the Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme (SICAP) will support a further 30,000 people in 2015. €46 million is being invested to increase access to formal and informal educational activities and resources, and to increase people’s work readiness and employment prospects.
Education and Training
The pupil/teacher ratio in all schools will remain unchanged.
Literacy and numeracy strategy funding- increased by €6 million to €13.8 million.
Junior cycle reform– increased by €5 million to €9.3 million.
New education postswill be created. There will be 900 new classroom teachers, 480 new resource teachers and 365 new Special Needs Assistant (SNA) posts. Of the 365 new SNA posts, 145 will be in place by the end of 2014 and 220 posts will follow in 2015.
Student Grant -Under the Student Grant Scheme, students will get 4 months of maintenance payments before the end of December and 5 months of payments in the following year (from the 2015–2016 academic year).
BreastCheckcancer screening will be extended in 2015 to include women who are over 65 years of age and under 70.
Mental health services- €35 million is allocated for mental health services, including mental health care delivered in the community in line with A Vision for Change.
More information on Budget 2015 here can be accessed on:
You can also find the Department of Finance documents here:
and the Department of Social Protection documents here:
Interested in starting your own business, please click here for more information on supports available to you.
Rent Supplement is paid to people who are unemployed and are living in private rented accommodation. This benefit will soon be replace by the Housing Assistance Payment. For more information on how this will be administered please click here.
A new Guide to entitlements for People with disabilities has just been published by the CIB in leaflet form. To view the leaflet please click here.