Budget 2022: social welfare rates set to rise, €100m package for tourism sector, half price public transport for young people

A €100m package to help the tourism sector, eight hundred new Gardaí and half price public transport for young people are some of the measures set to be announced at lunchtime as part of Budget 2022.

Free contraception for young women and an extension to the Help-to-buy scheme will also form part of the €4.7bn spending plan.

Speaking on his way into Cabinet, Taoiseach Micheal Martin said the Budget is about the country recovering post covid.

“I think the  backdrop for this budget is Ireland emerging from the Covid pandemic and the economic recovery underway.

“We need to consolidate that and we’ll do that by making sure there’s no cliff edge in respect of  supports for jobs and companies.

“Also in terms of children and families, to do the best that we can within the resources.”

Martin says addressing fuel poverty is crucial in this Budget.

“Given the increase in fuel prices and the energy crisis across the world,  it is important that our social welfare package would reflect that issue, and would do the very best we can to protect the people who are vulnerable to the pressures arising from the fuel situation globally, and the increase in prices.”

Speaking on his way into Cabinet, Tanaiste Leo Varadkar says the country’s finances are in a much better position than previously forecast.

“The economy has recovered much quicker than people though.

“I remember saying back int he summer that the economy would take off like a rocket, and it certainly has.

“Tax receipts came in much stronger than we thought they would, and a lot of Government departments underspend so we’re in a better position than we thought we would be.

“But that actually didn’t change the Budget package – we decided many months ago that the Budget package would be €4.7bn, and we didn’t depart from that.”

The Environment Minister Eamon Ryan believes the Budget is ‘Green’ and progressive.

“I think it will be green first of all because it’s a progressive budget. We’re trying to our people in this difficult time, particularly with inflation rising, so the social welfare elements are green.”

Varadkar says it’s aimed at addressing four main areas.

“Getting our public finances back in order, helping families with the cost of living, investing in public services, and also helping businesses that are still struggling with a further lifeline.”

Political correspondent with the Irish Examiner, Aoife Grace Moore, says pensions and most social welfare rates will rise by €5 a week.

“Fuel allowance is going to go up by €5, and I think that’s something a lot of people are very concerned about because as you know we’re sleep walking into an energy crisis here.

“Although the fuel allowance is going up, the criteria is now changed, so thousands more people who weren’t able to get the fuel allowance will be able to from 2022.”

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