Summary of Key Disability Budgets Points

October 11 2017, 10:08am


DFI - Disability and Budget 2018

Version - 11/10/17 at 7:46pm


  • Telephone allowance of €2.50/week for those on fuel allowance and living alone allowance. No discussion of what kind of phone this would cover.
  • Increase in Disability Payments of €5/week 
  • Extend the fuel allowance season by 1 week.
  • Increased funding for the Free Travel Scheme
  • Christmas bonus for all social welfare recipients to be paid out at 85%.


  • Allocation for disability services of €1,763m in 2018, an increase of €75m from last year. The extra funding to go on pay adjustments under the Lansdowne Road agreement, on services for 2017, and €15 Million for transition programmes for school leavers with disabilities. Additional funding will also deal with demographic changes relating to residential places, respite places, PA and home supports.
  • Prescription charge for those on the medical card reduced to €2 per item, and the maximum charge to be €20 per month.   
  • Monthly threshold for drug payment scheme reduced from €144 to €134.
  • 1,800 front-line health service personnel to be recruited across the acute, mental health, disability, primary and community care sectors.
  • Allocation of €55m for the NTPF, an increase of €35m. 
  • New access programme for 2017 / 2018: €75m to reduce waiting lists, €37m for home care packages and transitional care beds, and €20m support for hospitals.
  • €25 million for Primary Care to support GP services, expand community intervention teams, and hire more Occupational Therapists..
  • €5m for the Healthy Ireland Fund.
  • €35 million for Mental Health, to implement the Vision for Change (clarification is being sought on this figure) 


  • 10 NEPS psychologists will be recruited in 2018.
  • €2 million for a pilot scheme for in-school speech and language therapy.
  • 100 extra teachers for implementation of the new special education teaching model
  • 230 extra teachers in special school and special classes
  • 1,000 new SNAs
  • An additional €64.5m for Further and Higher Education.
  • An additional €4m to broaden access at Third Level.


  • Up to 400 homes to be provided in 2018 for people with specific needs.
  • Funding for housing adaptation grants of €53 million to fund up to 11,000 grants for people with disabilities and older people.
  • 3,800 new social houses to be built in 2018 by approved housing bodies and local authorities.
  • €149m increase in funding for the Housing Assistance Payment, HAP, to increase the number of recipients by 2,000. This is to bring the total number of households accommodated by HAP to 17,000.
  • €18m increase in homeless services to over €116m.
  • Plans to accelerate social housing delivery from 2019.
  • €12m for the Disabled Persons Grant Scheme. For adaptations to existing social housing stock and works to certain accommodation in lieu of social housing. This was an increase of €4.2m, announced in September before the Budget.


  • Expanded  apprenticeships  by 6,000 places introducing 10 new programmes in new sectors  
  • Created a further 1,000 Springboard places to reskill and upskill people not in employment.
  • Announced a Youth Employment Support Scheme.


  • €3 million in funding for the Decision Support Service, a key part of the Assisted Decision Making Act 2015.
  • €1 million additional funding to the Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme.
  • Further investment in Family Resource Centres
  • A VAT refund scheme for charities will be introduced, allowing them to reclaim a portion of their VAT costs based on the level of non-public funding they receive
  • An increase of €100 in the Home Carer’s Tax Credit, from €1100 to €1200.
  • 110 family resource centres will be given an extra €10,000, and 11 new centres will be established