There was little change in the Budget to address the needs of one-parent and shared parenting families in Ireland. However, the main rates of social welfare payments went unchanged and there was a small increase in Child Benefit rates for 2015. A small bonus for Christmas for recipients of many social welfare payments was also among the Budget 2015 announcements made today. askonefamily, our information service, summarises the key changes relevant to one-parent families below.
Summary of Relevant Budget 2015 Changes
Main social welfare payments rates (including One Parent Family Payment, Jobseeker’s Allowance Transition, Jobseeker’s Allowance, Carer’s Allowance and others)
- The rates of weekly payment will remain the same in 2015
- Increase of €5 per month, per child, from January 2015 to €135 a month, per child.
Back to School Clothing and Footwear
- This payment is maintained in 2015
- Recipients of long term social welfare payments will receive a bonus payment of 25% of weekly payment this December 2014. This includes recipients of One Parent Family Payment, Carer’s Allowance, Disability Allowance, long-term Jobseeker’s Allowance, Jobseeker’s Allowance – Transition, Community Employment, Back to Work Allowance, Widow/Widower’s pension, Job Initiative and some others
NEW***Back to Work Family Dividend
- For one-parent families and long term jobseeker families with children who find or return to work, they will be able to retain the Qualified Child Increase of €29.80 per child, per week, for 12 months and then 50% of the rate for a second year. This applies to employment and self-employment. This Back to Work Family Dividend (BTWFD) will be in addition to eligibility for Family Income Supplement (FIS) and will not affect the level of FIS payment.
- In order to be eligible for the BTWFD then a person must be coming off their main social welfare payment (One-Parent Family Payment, Jobseeker’s Allowance or Jobseeker’s Allowance – Transition), in full and going into employment or self-employment. A person who is already in employment and in receipt of One-Parent Family Payment (OFP) and who then increases their hours of employment to the point that they are no longer eligible for OFP because their earnings from work are in excess of €425 a week (gross) or who is no longer entitled to an OFP payment because of the age of their youngest child may then qualify for the BTWFD. Applications will be open in January 2015.
- For those in receipt of Fuel Allowance then an additional €100 a year will be paid as support towards water services. The Water Support payment will be paid at a rate of €25, four times a year for a total yearly payment of €100. First payments will be issuing by the end of March 2015. If you have been awarded the Fuel Allowance then you will automatically receive the Water Support payment.
- No increase in taxes on petrol or diesel or Motor tax
- Increase in the standard rate tax band for a single people from €32,800 to €33,800
- Higher tax rate reduced from 41% to 40%
Universal Social Charge (USC)
- The Universal Social Charge rates have been reduced; the 2% rate drops to 1.5% and the 4% rate drops to 3.5%
- Entry point for paying USC going up from just over €10,000 to just over €12,000 in 2015
If you would like further clarification on any of Budget changes, contact askonefamily on 1890 66 22 12 or by email.