Key points from budget 2019

October 15 2018, 12:50pm



  • The overall health budget is set to be €17.2 billion, an increase of 6.6 per cent. Of that amount, there will be a €150 million increase for disability services
  • An €20 million “integration” fund as part of the implementation of Slaintecare.
  • Free GP care to be extended to around 100,000 people with an increase in the income threshold for the GP card, which will increased by €25 for a single person and €45 for a married couple.
  • The National Treatment Purchase Fund will increase by €20 million.
  • There will be a 50 cent reduction in prescription charges for medical card holders over 70.
  • There will be a reduction of €10 in the maximum amount payable under the Drug Payments Scheme.
  • An additional €55 million will be provided for mental health.
  • Funding for an additional 100 therapy posts to address assessment of need waiting lists

Income Support

  • All social welfare payments will be increased by €5 starting in March.
  • Christmas bonus has been restored to a double payment.
  • Domiciliary Care Allowance will be paid for an additional 3 months, should the child being cared for sadly pass away.
  • €300,000 to commission research in 2019 on the cost of disability
  • Weekly fuel allowance will be extended to 28 weeks, from the current 27
  • Carer’s support Grant of €1,700 to be extended to 2019
  • €10 million in extra funding for free TV licence and free travel schemes.

Taxation and Public Expenditure

  • The Home Carer Credit has been increased by €300, bringing the total to €1,500.
  • The 4.75% rate of the Universal Social Charge, levied on incomes between €19,300 and €70,000, has been decreased by by 0.25%
  • The threshold at which people hit the lower % rate of USC, levied on incomes between 12,000 and 19,000, has been widened by €500.
  • The threshold at which people hit the higher, 40% rate of income tax has been raised by €750 from €34,550.
  • The Earned income tax credit for the self employed has been raised by €200.


  • Starting in the next budget, the budget will be equality proofed for gender, poverty, socio-economic status and disability.


  • A €300m fund for affordable housing scheme will be introduced over three years.
  • An additional €121 million has been allocated for the Housing Assistance Payment.
  • An additional €4 for Housing Adaption Grants, bringing the total funding to €57 million.

Children and Education

  • The Children’s Allowance for Back to School clothing and footwear has been increased by €25
  • The budget for children with special needs has been increased to allow for the hiring of up to 950 new SNAs.
  • The threshold for families to access the highest level of childcare supports has been increased, from families earning less than €22,700 net to €26,000 net.
  • An additional €196 million for capital in Education in 2019. This will support the creation of up to 18,000 additional permanent school places and 5,000 replacement places. It will also facilitate the further upgrade of ICT infrastructure in schools and provide €150m for investment in Higher Education, Further Education & Training, and Research.
  • €5 million is being provided to support the implementation of the Comprehensive Review of the SNA scheme