Above from left: the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Michael McGrath; The Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe, and the Minister for Social Protection, Community and Rural Development, Heather Humphreys outline changes to the Pandemic Unemployment Payment and the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme this afternoon
Government Buildings, Dublin 2.
The budget deficit this year will now be €23 billion, up approximately €1.25 billion on the figure outlined in Budget 2021, Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe announced at a press conference.
The increase reflects the anticipated €2 billion spend over the next six weeks on several income and business support schemes as Level 5 restrictions come into play.
This will mean that GDP is expected to decline this year by 3.5%, a further 1% decline on the forecast released at Budget time.
Mr Donohoe said that the enhanced Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS) is expected to cost €105m a week, the new Covid Restrictions Support Scheme (CRSS) €80m a week and the PUP €135m a week.
Social Protection Minister Heather Humphreys said the enhanced PUP will be given at its current rate until January when it will then be reviewed….
Adoption of a counter-cyclical fiscal stance.
Financing for the Community Health Networks
Acknowledgement by Government that tax and welfare are a single system..
Providing the finance to implement the McMahon Report and end Direct Provision.
Failure to increase core social welfare rates.
Failure to make tax credits refundable to address the working poor issue.
No progress towards just taxation
Dr Seán Healy, Director, SocialJustice Ireland, writes::
“Budget 2021 has left Ireland’s poorest people behind as Government decided not to increase core social welfare rates.
Despite allocating more resources than any previous Budget in the history of the State, the distribution of those resources was such that the gap between the poor and the better off will widen in 2021 and inequality will increase. This is a totally unacceptable outcome.
“In calculating how people’s incomes will change in 2021 it is important to realise that people with jobs are likely to see increases in their take-home pay in the coming year. Public servants will see an increase of 2% while the pay of other sectors is also expected to increase. In contrast to that, people on core social welfare payments depend on the Budget alone to increase their incomes”
Delighted to allocate an additional €32m to our National Cancer Strategy and the re-start of cancer services. With this money, we can improve access to diagnostics, increase staffing, develop a Cancer Genetics Service and much more #Budget2021
New petrol prices after The Minister for Finance announced carbon tax will be increased by €7.50 per tonne of carbon dioxide in Budget 2021. Paschal Donohoe said that the charge rise at Midnight from €26 to €33.50 will be applied to auto fuels and all other fuels from May 1, 2021.