An Ennis economist believes low to middle income workers could be ‘left behind’ by Budget 2022.
The budget will have around 4.7 billion euro in additional spending for next year and is to be announced in the next few moments.
Plans to freeze childcare fees, a rise in social welfare payments, and a hike in the fuel allowance are among the measures to be unveiled.
The cost of living has been rising and fuel prices will increase again from midnight as a result of the carbon tax.
But this budget is aimed at mitigating the impact of that cost on people.
There will be a 5 euro a week increase to state pension and social welfare rates, 5 euro on the fuel allowance and 10 euro on the back to school allowance.
The cost of a pack of cigarettes will rise by 50 cent, with alcohol being left alone.
Micheal Martin says the Government has been careful with this Budget.
Some of the other measures expected later are a hundred million euro package to help the tourism sector, as well as eight hundred new Gardaí.
A loan guarantee scheme for financial institutions who lend to fund home retrofits forms part of a 350m euro climate package.
The Help to Buy scheme is being retained for another year and the Housing budget is expected to rise by 600m euro
The Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme is being extended until the first quarter of 2022.
The Department of Health budget is set to see a decrease in Covid funding, while new spending will see a scheme to provide free contraception to young women.
Plans to freeze childcare fees are among the measures to be unveiled with a 100 million euro package aimed at reducing the cost.
Clare’s Green Party Senator says she’s hopeful further investment in childcare will address ‘bureaucracy’ within the sector.
It’s also understood that the age restrictions for child benefit will be increased to children over the age of 18 who are still in full-time education.
Inagh-based Senator Roisin Garvey believes the cash injection into the industry will prove to be a step in the right direction for both parents and employees.
Minister Eamon Ryan has secured a 25 million euro fund to give half price public transport to students and anyone aged between 19 and 23.
Claire Austick, President of the Union of Students In Ireland, says it’s a welcome announcement.
The point at which the higher rate of income tax is paid is being raised – which will be worth about 8 euro a week to those in that category.
However, it won’t impact low to middle income workers who are earning more than minimum wage but less than the amount required to hit the 40 percent tax bracket.
Ennis native Dr Micheál Collins, who is an assistant professor of social policy at UCD, believes there’s a risk that this cohort will be left behind by this lunchtime’s announcement.