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11th Feb 2022

Everything you need to know about the cost of living plan

Katy Brennan

Ministers confirmed the new measures on Thursday evening.

On Thursday evening, the government finalised a package to deal with the rising cost of living and provide support to those struggling.

Surging costs of things like bills, rent, fuel, childcare, transport and even groceries, have pushed some people over the edge in recent times.

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe and Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Michael McGrath announced the new supports in a €500 million cost of living package.

Many have criticised the new measures for not being enough to truly tackle the issue at hand.

But Minister McGrath has since said the Government has no further plans for any more intervention to tackle cost of living increases.

Speaking to RTE News this morning, he said that while he accepted that the measures in the package announced yesterday would not be enough to compensate everyone for the cost of living increases – he insisted that that was it, for now.

Here’s everything you need to know about what the new measures mean for the average Irish person.

Energy Bills

Firstly, the government will give every home in the country €200 off energy bills next month. The original proposal was for an allowance of €100 in credit, however it was agreed last night to double the offering.

Minister McGrath clarified that any unused part of the energy credit will be carried forward. Every household is guaranteed €200.

Fuel Allowance

In order to help people struggling with heating bill costs, an additional sum of €125 will be given to each Fuel Allowance recipient.

This payment will be made to qualifying households in March.

Public Transport

Public transport costs in Ireland are set to be reduced by 20%. This will take effect from April. It includes Dublin Bus, Bus Éireann, Iarnród Éireann, Go Ahead and Luas – among others. This will benefit  800,000 daily users.

Anyone who purchased a yearly travel card will receive a refund in credit.

This reduction in transport fare will last until the end of the year, before an “in depth review” of the funding needs for public transport takes place.

School Transport

The school transport scheme provides transport for children who live 3.2 km or more away from school.

For primary school students, the yearly charge per family for school transport will now be reduced from €220 to €150.

For post-primary, the yearly charge per family will be dropped from €550 to €500.

Drug Payment Scheme

The Drug Payment Scheme contribution has been decreased to a maximum of €80 temporarily for qualifying families.

Before this, applicants paid a maximum of €100 each month for prescribed medications.

Working Family Payment

The Working Family Payment supports struggling families who fall below certain incomes based on the number of dependant children.

An increase of €10 to the weekly income threshold for the working family payment will now apply from 1 April.

However, many politicians have criticised this and called for a bigger increase in the payment.

Feature Image of  Minister Michael McGrath by Sam Boal/