How does Budget 2016 impact young people?
We break down this year's budget and its potential impacts on you
Another government budget has come and gone. For the final budget in the term of this government, many people were speculating that there would be a “giveaway” budget that would leave citizens much better off. But was this actually the case? Let’s break down the impact the budget might have on you:
What has changed?
There will be an increase of minimum wage from €8.65 to €9.15 that comes into effect in January 2016.
Universal Social Charge
The rules around Universal Social Charge (USC) have changed, with the entry threshold rising from €12,012 to €13,000. This means if you earn under €13,000 you will not have to pay USC. The rate at which USC is charged has also dropped, meaning that your wages may be taxed less each month.
Student to teacher ratio
For secondary school students, the pupil teacher ratios will change. There now should be 1 teacher for every 18.7 students, a reduction from 1 teacher for every 19 students.
Student Assistance Fund
An additional €3 million has been allocated to the Student Assistance Fund.
The price of cigarettes have gone up by €0.50, meaning you’ll pay €10.50 for most boxes of 20 now.
- Child benefit - Child benefit will be increased by €5 per child per month.
- GP care for children - There will now be free GP care for all children under 12.
- Early Childcare and Education Scheme (ECCE) - The Early Childcare and Education (ECCE) scheme has been extended, which will provide free childcare for children between age 3 and 5 and a half, or until they begin primary school.
- Family Income Supplement - The earning thresholds for Family Income Supplement have increased by €5 for each of your first two children, and €10 for any additional children.
- Jobseeker’s Transitional Payment - The earnings disregard for Jobseekers Transitional payment will increase from €60 to €90. This means that €90 of your income will no longer be assessed for the means test.
- Paternity leave - Two weeks paid paternity leave will be introduced in January 2016.
If you are a participant in Community Employment, Rural Social Scheme, Gateway, Job Initiative, Tús or JobBridge, you will get an extra €2.50 per week in top-up payments towards meals and travel costs.
The government budget on social housing has been increased by €69 million to €414 million
The budget to tackle the homeless crisis has been increased by €17 million to €70 million.
The Christmas bonus for all people who receive social welfare payments has been raised to 75% of their social welfare payment.
What hasn’t changed?
Some key issues that affect young people have not changed in this budget, including:
- The rate of Jobseeker’s Allowance for people under the age of 26 has not changed. Jobseekers between the ages 18-24 can still only get €100 in Jobseeker’s Allowance per week. People who are 25 can get €144, which is still less than people who are aged 26 and over.
- The Student Contribution Fee for third level education remains at €3,000 and there have been no changes to the student grant.
- There have been no changes to rent supplement.
For more details, visit Citizen’s Information.