Budget 2024 is highlighting the important role played by family carers with an increase in payments and other commitments made by the Department of Social Protection, said a Fine Gael Senator.
Senator Emer Currie, Fine Gael’s Seanad spokesperson on Special Education and Inclusion, said that Budget 2024 emphasised Fine Gael’s commitment to supporting fulltime carers.
“Carers will receive an increase in payments as part of the largest social protection budget package in the history of the State.
“There will be a lump sum payment of €400 to all carers receiving the Carer’s Support Grant in November 2023, which will help carers who have been struggling with the cost of living.
“Budget 2024 also includes a €12 increase in Carer’s Allowance and an increase of €10 to the Domiciliary Care Allowance, which supports carers for children with a severe disability.
“There will also be a Christmas bonus and a second cost of living payment in January that carers can avail of.
“However, the most significant change is that the income threshold for Carer’s Allowance has been increased to €450 for a single person and €900 for a couple. This is the second time the Carer’s Means Test has been expanded since Minister Humphreys was appointed and it will mean thousands more carers will now qualify for the full payment.
“We are not only providing more funding, but Minister Humphreys also proposed establishing an Interdepartmental Working Group with the Department of Health to examine and review the entire system of means testing for carers payments. I personally hope this is the first step towards the future abolishment of the means test and a basic income for full-time carers.
“Fine Gael is committed to putting more money in people’s pockets by cutting tax and USC. This is the tenth Budget in a row this has happened to reward work and help people keep more of their hard-earned wages. Carers across the country will feel the benefit of this.
“Under Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, we are building stronger safer communities, ensuring the best start for every child, and delivering for rural Ireland and farmers.
“Minister Humphreys is also working to deliver a pension for long term carers for the first time, which is a very significant step and underscores Fine Gael’s commitment to supporting carers and appreciating their hard work”, Senator Currie concluded.