Budget 2024 Reaction

Posted on Tuesday 10 October 2023


Please see below for a list of FAQs arising from Budget 2024.

Tuesday, 10th October 2023: Family Carers Ireland is hopeful that the increase in the Carer’s Allowance income disregard, as confirmed in Budget 2024, will mark an important first step in overhauling a scheme that is outdated and no longer fit for purpose.

The announcement that the income disregard for a single person will rise from €350 to €450, and from €750 to €900 for a couple, will ensure that a large number of family carers, who were previously ineligible for Carer’s Allowance due to the means test, may now qualify for financial support. 

Family Carers Ireland had called on the Government to use this budget to initiate a four-year journey, incrementally increasing the income disregard for Carer’s Allowance each year, with the ultimate goal of abolishing the means test and introducing a participation income for full-time family carers by 2027. We welcome the announcement by Social Protection Minister Heather Humphreys that she is to establish an Interdepartmental Working Group with the Department of Health to examine and review the entire system of means test for carer payments.

Family Carers Ireland welcomes the announcement of a €400 one-off payment to those in receipt of the non-means-tested Carer’s Support Grant. However, the organisation is keen to see this increase maintained and improved upon in the coming years, recognising its significance as financial support for family carers. This payment will also be extended to those receiving the Domiciliary Care Allowance, which will increase by €10 per month.

While a €12 increase in weekly social payments may provide some relief to those receiving Carer’s Allowance or Carer’s Benefit, it falls short of Family Carers Ireland’s call for both payments to be increased to €325. This increase would acknowledge the substantial and unavoidable expenses that caring families encounter.

Among the other measures confirmed are the payment of the Christmas bonus in December, a one-off double social welfare payment next January, a €100 increase in the Home Carer Tax Credit, a €200 rise in the Incapacitated Child Tax Credit, and funding for an additional 1,200 special needs assistants.

Reacting to today’s budget announcements, Catherine Cox, Head of Communication and Policy at Family Carers Ireland, commented:

"We are extremely pleased to see positive movement in terms of reforming the Carer’s Allowance scheme. The increase in the income disregard will mean that many family carers who were unfairly excluded from the scheme, often due to a partner’s income, may now receive some financial support from the State.

“While these budgetary measures are welcomed, they are steps along a longer journey. It is vital that we now build on this momentum in the years ahead to realise our ambition of abolishing the means test completely and introducing a participation income for full-time family carers that provides the financial support and recognition that they truly deserve.

“While there are positives from today’s announcement, respite and support services remain fragmented and inconsistent, making it even more challenging for family carers to access the help they desperately need. We urgently need a more cohesive and coordinated approach to respite and support services generally. This includes improved access, increased funding, and better integration with other healthcare services to ensure that family carers have access to respite when they need it.

“There is so much more to do to ensure family carers are adequately supported. The measures announced today appear to be a step in the right direction, but it is vital that much more is done to ensure that supports and services for family carers and their loved ones are improved upon into the future.

“We need to see far greater commitment to and investment in our care system for there to be any hope of it being fit for purpose.”

Budget 2024 Announcements

Social Protection:

  • Income disregard for Carer’s Allowance will increase from €750 to €900 for couples and from €350 to €450 for single carers.
  • From January 2024 there will be a €12 increase in weekly social welfare payments. The maximum rate of the Carer's Allowance will increase from €236 to €248 and Carer's Benefit will increase from €237 to €249. There will be proportionate increases for people getting a reduced rate payment.
  • €400 cost of living lump sum payment for people getting Carer's Support Grant, Disability Allowance, DCA, Blind Pension and Invalidity Pension and Working Family Payment will be paid in December.
  • Carers will also get the Christmas Bonus double payment in December
  • Domiciliary Care Allowance will increase by €10 increasing from €330 to €340 per month with effect from January 2024.
  • Increase for Qualified Children payments will increase by €4 - increasing from €42 to €46 for under 12 years old and from €50 to €54 for over 12s. These increases are included in the weekly social welfare payments of carers in receipt of Carer’s Allowance or Carer’s Benefit where they have children. There will also be a lump sum payment of €100 in the form of a Qualified Child Bonus.
  • €300 lump sum for recipients of Fuel Allowance
  • €200 lump sum for people who receive the Living Alone Allowance.
  • Double child benefit payment of €280 per child will be paid before Christmas. Child Benefit will be paid to parents of 18-year-olds still in full time education.


Tax Credit Increases

  • Home Carer Tax Credit will increase from €1,700 to €1,800
  • Incapacitated Child Tax Credit will increase for the first time in over 10 years by €200 from €3,300 to €3,500.
  • Single Person Child Carer Tax Credit will increase by €100, increasing from €1,650 to €1,750.
  • Personal, PAYE and earned income tax credits will increase by €100 to €1,875.
  • The Standard Rate Band – that’s the level at which earners begin to pay the higher rate of income tax – has gone up by €2,000 to €42,000.
  • The ceiling for the lower 2 per cent rate of Universal Social Charge will go up by €2,840, meaning it will apply on earnings up to €25,760.
  • The national minimum wage has been increased by €1.40 an hour to €12.70 an hour. 


Energy Credits

  • Three energy credits for households of €150 each – totalling €450.



  • Additional 1,200 Special Needs Assistants – bring the total number of SNAs to the highest level ever.
  • Free schoolbooks will be introduced at junior cycle in secondary school, benefiting 770,000 children.
  • Families with an income of less than €100,000 will see college fees for undergraduates halved from €3,000 to €1,500 this year.
  • All other families will see undergraduate full-time student fees cut by €1,000.



  • A total of €22.5bn has been allocated for the public health system which includes an €808m increase in core current funding to tackle demographic and service pressures.
  • Further details will be announced over the coming days with final details included in the HSE Service Plan 2024.

Budget 2024 FAQs