Budget 2023 looks like it will have plenty to offer parents and families – but are single people being left behind?
On Lunchtime Live this afternoon, presenter Andrea Gilligan questioned whether there was anything in the budget for single people or people living alone.
Some of the measures leaked so far include a special double payment of child benefit, a 25% reduction in childcare costs and the introduction of free schoolbooks for primary school children from next year.
It also includes universal energy credits worth €600 and an increase in the higher tax band to €40,000.
Andrea said she is delighted to see families getting supports, but wonders whether more could be done for those living alone.
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“Don’t get me wrong, I don’t begrudge families getting help in any way,” she said. “Not at all, they need it 100% but I do sometimes wonder, do we feature?
“Yes, we’ll get the energy credits like everybody else but if you’re a one-income household paying all the bills - the heat, the electricity, the TV, the broadband, the TV licence - all of these are the same outgoings despite the fact you only have one income.”
She said the changes to the higher tax band will give a single person earning more than €40,000 an extra €53 per month.
Meanwhile, someone earning €38,000 will end up with an extra €20 a month.
“So, if you are living alone, how do feel about the budget and the leaks and the various different measures and initiatives we’re hearing about over the course of the weekend and the past number of days? She asked. “How do you feel? Do you feel forgotten?"
“Maybe you don’t care. Maybe you think it is totally fair that a lot of the aspects of the budget go towards families.
“But personally, I think the Irish Times headline is actually spot on today – families are the big winners.”