Summary of Key Measures of Budget 2020 version 2: 09.10.2019

Health

  • 1 million extra home care hours in 2020 for older persons
  • €25 million increase in funding for disability services covering:
    • Funding for respite (overnight/in-home/day or sessional)
    • Emergency protocols, to provide additional residential and other services to persons with a disability in response to their priority needs
    • Funding being provided for an Autism Plan to improve services for people with Autism and their families
    • Approximately 1,600 young people with disabilities who leave school and training programmes will receive continued supports and services
  • Up to 1,000 therapists, nurses and other professionals in the community, and recruitment of dementia advisers
  • A €39 million increase in mental health funding
  • €13 million for the provision of a purpose-built, modern National Forensic Mental Health Hospital at Portrane.
  • €40 million on revised contractual arrangements with GPs will improve supports for key health professionals as part of the delivery of Sláintecare and provide for a structured approach to the management of chronic disease.
  • The monthly threshold of €124 for the Drug Payment Scheme will be reduced by €10 to €114.
  • From July prescription charges for over 70s will be reduced by 50c to €1 per item and by 50c to €1.50 per item for persons under 70. 
  • Medical card income limits for over 70s will be increased from €500 to €550 for a single person and €900 to €1050 for a couple per week.
  • €20 million for Sláintecare implementation fund and €12 million for Care Redesign Fund

Income Support

  • No increase in Disability Allowance
  • Christmas bonus for those on welfare payments of 100%
  • €5 increase in Living Alone Allowance
  • Fuel allowance up by €2 per week and investment in programmes to deal with causes of fuel poverty
  • Increase in the hours that carers can work or study outside the home from 15 hours to 18.5 hours per week.
  • Blind Welfare Allowance will be exempt from the means assessment for Social Welfare schemes.
  • €3 increase per week for child dependents aged 12 and over and €2 increase for child dependents under 12 in all weekly payments, including disability payments.
  • Increase in the Home Carer Tax Credit of €100

Community and Local Government

  • €1.2 million current funding to further support the implementation of measures in the ‘Strategy for Community and Voluntary Sector development,’ including enhanced supports for local delivery structures (Public Participation Networks and Local Community Development Committees).
  • €1.5 million additional current funding for use across the Community Support Programme and Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme to fund some new organisations and to provide targeted supports for disadvantaged communities.

Housing

  • €3.5 million to support delivery of Traveller accommodation and increased number of housing adaptation grants for older people and people with a disability.
  • Over 11,000 new social homes in 2020 and 12,000 in 2021.
  • Funding for HAP scheme to support existing tenancies and 15,750 new tenancies.
  • Eligibility criteria for the Household Benefit package to be broadened for those aged under 70 that will allow for another adult to reside in the household.

Children and Education

  • Increased funding under the Access and Inclusion Model (AIM) to support the full participation of children with disabilities in the Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) Scheme.
  • €19m investment in special education, funding:
    • 400 extra special needs teaching posts
    • 1,000 extra special needs assistants
  • Roll out of the New School Inclusion model including a new allocation methodology for the 2020/21 school year
  • An additional €26 million for the School Transport Scheme to provide for additional demand largely arising from special education transport

Employment Supports

  • Additional funding of €2 million for the nationwide Community Employment scheme will be made available for training purposes in 2020. The scheme supports voluntary organisations to provide local services for their communities.
  • €2.5 million is being provided in 2020 for specific activation and training supports for groups most distant from the labour market, including people with disabilities.