Pensioners are entitled to one-off payments of up to €1,100 before the end of the year as part of a series of last-minute social spending measures agreed by the coalition.
The double payment of the €253 weekly state pension will be paid twice in the coming months – once shortly after the budget and then again in December.
Pensioners who receive the living alone allowance will receive a separate payment of €200, while those claiming the fuel allowance will receive a one-off lump sum of €400 on top of their usual rate.
Social Protection Secretary Heather Humphreys has also reached an agreement that would see the Fuel Allowance scheme extended to up to 80,000 people who are currently ineligible for the payment.
This means that around 450,000 people will be able to claim social benefits in the coming months.
Ms Humphreys also secured a €12 weekly increase in all welfare rates in the new year, as well as a one-off extra payment of €500 for carers and people with disabilities this year.
Meanwhile, Health Secretary Stephen Donnelly has received funding for a major expansion of the GP visiting card scheme. More than 430,000 people will be eligible for the means-tested scheme for the first time once changes to the budget’s income limits take effect.
The moves mean around 2.5 million people, or half the country’s population, will have access to a free GP visit card or healthcare card, and is part of the minister’s plan to introduce universal health coverage.
The measures for older and vulnerable people are key elements in a budget of almost €10 billion.
The massive Budget Day package aims to ease the financial burden on millions of families by reducing government fees for health and education while significantly increasing welfare benefits and lowering income taxes.
At 1pm in the Dáil, Treasury Secretary Paschal Donohoe and Public Expenditure Secretary Michael McGrath will give details of more than €7 billion in new spending measures and tax cuts for the coming year.
Mr McGrath will separately hand out a £2.7 billion living expenses package
The centerpiece of the cost-of-living package will be the introduction of an electricity credit of 600 euros, which will be deducted from the electricity bill in three installments over the coming months.
Parents also benefit from twice the monthly child benefit of 840 euros for a family with three children.
In addition, there will be two double payments of the social security rates by the end of the year.
Mr Donohoe is expected to announce that the top tax rate of 40 per cent will only apply to income above €40,000 when changes to tax brackets come into effect in the new year.
The personal tax credit increases from €1,700 to €1,775, the employee tax credit and the employee tax credit by the same amount.
The tax changes should save single people around 800 euros a year and couples 1,600 euros.
Meanwhile, businesses will get up to €10,000 a month paid into their electricity or gas bills under a €1 billion scheme.
Small and medium-sized businesses get paid 40 percent of their electricity or gas bill increases, up to a maximum of €10,000 per month.
The country’s defense budget is set to top 1.1 billion euros next year as Secretary of State Simon Coveney seeks to fill funding gaps in the defense forces.
This includes 176 million euros for barracks construction projects, new ships for the navy, new aircraft for the Aer Corp and more armored vehicles for the army.
https://www.independent.ie/news/budget-2023-once-off-1100-pension-boost-among-last-minute-giveaways-as-social-welfare-rises-12-and-430000-more-get-gp-cards-42018946.html Budget 2023: One-off €1,100 pension top-up under last-minute giveaways as social assistance rises €12 and get an additional 430,000 GP cards