Clare’s Green Party Senator insists Budget 2022 will have to be ‘economically balanced’.
Half price public transport for young people, free contraception and a hike in the fuel allowance are among some of the measures to be announced in today’s budget.
The 1.5 billion euro in additional spending will be largely aimed at addressing the rising cost of living.
Among the last measures agreed yesterday was a 5 euro a week rise in the fuel allowance, effective from midnight tonight.
That’s in a bid to offset fuel costs – which will also rise at midnight due to a 7.50 a tonne increase in carbon tax.
The point at which people pay the higher rate of income tax will rise by €1,500 – worth about €8 a week.
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.
Pensions and most social welfare rates will rise by 5 euro a week – with a full Christmas bonus to be paid.
A 100m euro package from Minister Catherine Martin for the tourism sector will include a pilot universal basic income scheme for artists.
A loan guarantee scheme for financial institutions who lend to fund home retrofits forms part of a 350m euro climate package.
The Department of Justice has secured funding for 800 new gardai and 400 garda civilian staff in 2022.
The Help to Buy Scheme is being extended by a year, while the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme is being extended until the first Q 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
Inagh-based Senator Roisin Garvey says while it’s not the increase some advocacy groups wanted, the Government needs to be economically responsible as the country emerges from the pandemic.