Alternative budget 2023: from 20 euros in social and pension increases to a rent freeze – what the opposition parties are proposing

As the government unveils its 2023 budget and multi-billion dollar package of one-off measures tomorrow, opposition parties have been putting forward their own proposals in recent weeks.

While some measures proposed by the opposition are included in tomorrow’s budget – such as double child benefit payments or a €500 reduction in annual tuition fees – many are not.

Here are some of the other plans that won’t be rolled out by the government tomorrow.

€20 increase in welfare and pension rates

Many opposition parties are pushing for a weekly increase in social assistance and the state pension of 20 euros.

This is happening on the back of charities demanding the same, including Saint Vincent de Paul and Social Justice Ireland.

Labour, People Before Profit and the Rural Independents have all called for weekly hikes of €20.

Sinn Féin and the Social Democrats have called for weekly hikes of €15.

Aontú is calling for a €20 increase in pension rates and a €17 increase in working-age welfare rates per week.

However, this has been ruled out by Social Protection Secretary Heather Humphreys, with the final figure likely to be between €10 and €15.

Cuts in public transport costs

Almost all parties have also considered cost reductions for local public transport in their submissions. Labor is calling for a €9 a month ticket for all public transport, while People Before Profit believe it should be free.

Sinn Féin and the Regional Independents want the existing 20% ​​public transport concession to be extended to private bus companies, while the Social Democrats believe it should be cut by 30%.

Aontú believes that public transport should be cut by another 20 percent.

The Rural Independents are calling for an increase in funding for rural areas and a ‘reverse’ of cuts in road funding.

Rent depends on income

People Before Profit is calling for rents to be frozen and then reduced to 25 percent of median wages.

Under the legislation, a national pension agency would calculate median household income and cap rents at a quarter of that figure.

In its submission before the budget, the party states that the average income is 40,000 euros, which would correspond to rent of 10,000 euros per year or 833 euros per month.

The party previously had a bill on the issue that did not go through the Dáil.

€60 fuel flat rate increase

The Rural Independents are also pushing for a €60 increase in the weekly fuel allowance, which currently stands at €33.

TDs also believe that the fuel allowance period should be extended to 40 weeks from the existing 28 weeks.

However, the group’s preliminary budget proposal does not state how much this measure would cost.

The Regional Independents said the fuel allowance period should be extended to 32 weeks instead of 28.

Aontú are pushing for a €40 increase and also an extension to 32 weeks.

Meanwhile, Sinn Féin believe they should be increased by €5 and the Social Democrats by €15.

Abolition of the CO2 tax

Sinn Féin, People Before Profit and the Rural Independents have called for the carbon tax to be scrapped.

“It’s an unfair tax on those who bear the least responsibility for the climate catastrophe. It doesn’t take into account solvency and there’s no evidence it works,” the PBP pre-budget filing said.

Meanwhile, the grouping of rural independent TDs, which has opposed the carbon tax for years, says it is responsible for “inflating the cost of everything from food to travel”. Alternative budget 2023: from 20 euros in social and pension increases to a rent freeze – what the opposition parties are proposing

Fry Electronics Team

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