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Good news for medical card holders who choose to rent a room – Byrne

Statement by Senator Maria Byrne

23rd January 2024 - Senator Maria Byrne

Medical card assessments will not be impacted by Rent-a-Room scheme participants who earn up to €14,000 annually, a Fine Gael Senator has said.

Senator Maria Byrne, who has been repeatedly calling for such a measure, said: “I have received many queries from constituents who are willing to rent rooms in their homes but were discouraged for fear the income earned would cause them to lose their medical card.

“This was a particular concern to pensioners who would benefit in many ways from the scheme. Now they and others can be assured that the Rent-a-Room scheme is a viable option.”

The Rent-a-Room Relief allows tax-free earnings of up to €14,000 per year for those who privately rent out a room in their home. Previously this income was a contributing factor, along with other income and expenses, as to whether a person qualified for a medical card.

“The income disregard has been forthcoming for some time now, so I am pleased Fine Gael is able to alleviate frustrations and offer more people the choice to earn additional income from an extra room in their house without being penalised.

“The adjustment will benefit both new entrants to the medical card and GP visit card system and existing card holders,” Senator Byrne said.

“Fine Gael is working hard to put money back in your pockets whatever your circumstances and this is further proof if it.

“As housing issues dominate the national conversation, we are constantly hearing about the difficulties for students and young people sourcing accommodation.

“Renting ‘digs’ in a household has long been a safe and economical way for students and young professionals to live, work and study in cities and towns away from their home. The Rent a Room scheme incentivises both parties to consider this option and brings peach of mind to medical card holders,” Senator Byrne said.

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