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Social Protection | Family cost of living alleviation measures

To ask the Minister for Social Protection the extent to which it continues to be possible to address particularly sensitive issues in respect of family income and the cost of living impact; if she is satisfied regarding the adequacy of her Department’s resources to address such circumstances; and if she will make a statement on the matter.

In response to the on-going cost-of-living pressures, as part of Budget 2023, I secured a social welfare package of more than €2.1 billion, the largest Social Protection package in the history of the state, including:

  • The Autumn Cost-of-Living Double Week Payment to most Social protection schemes which will be paid during the week commencing 17th of October 2022;
  • The Double Payment of Child Benefit to support families with children will be paid alongside the regular Child Benefit Payment in November 2022;
  • A €400 Lump Sum Fuel Allowance Payment to all households receiving the Fuel Allowance;
  • A €200 Lump Sum Payment for pensioners and people with a disability receiving the Living Alone Allowance;
  • A €500 Lump Sum Payment to families in receipt of the Working Family Payment, Disability Allowance, Blind Pension, Invalidity Pension and the Carer’s Support Grant.

In addition, a 100% Christmas Bonus will be paid to all long-term social welfare recipients in December 2022.

The ESRI’s assessment of the Budget is that the measures introduced are large enough to leave the lowest-income households better-off on average than they would have been had welfare rates risen in line with inflation both this year and next.

In that context I am satisfied that my Department has the necessary resources to assist those most in need due to the impact of cost-of-living increases.
I trust that this clarifies the matter for the deputy.

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