Budget 2022: Five ways young people are the big winners

By Thomas Telford

Budget 2022 has been revealed with a number of measures set to benefit young people in the coming year.

The Government hopes to convince younger voters to stick with them with these new announcements.

The COVID-19 pandemic robbed young people of almost two years of their life including important events in the college calendar as well as the ability to meet up with friends.

So, these five Budget 2022 measures, in particular, will be of massive benefit to young people and range from grant increases for college students to a reduction in the cost of public transport.

Here are the five measures that look set to give young people an advantage in the next 12 months.

Discount for public transport

Before today, students were able to benefit from reduced prices on public transport of up to 30%. Now, Anyone aged between 19 - 23 regardless of whether the person is in third-level education, will get 50% off all public transport.

A fund of €25 million will be created to finance this new measure. There will be no restrictions on this discount card and no weekly cap either. 50% off applies to both on and off-peak times.

Free contraception

A new scheme to offer women aged between 17 - 25 free contraception will be launched in August of next year. €10 million has been set aside to pay for this.

The contraceptive pill will be made available but there will be other long forms of contraception available, also. Women will still have to pay the prescription charge for the pill while the cost of fitting and removing other forms of contraception will be free.

Women will also get two free GP visits per year to discuss contraception options.

"In women’s health care there’s a lot we’ve done in the last year, but there’s an awful lot further to go. So yes, I’ll be looking for funding for universal health care, for waiting lists, for the winter plan, for women’s health care for public health, mental health," Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly has said.

SUSI Grant expansion

For the first time since 2012, the SUSI grant will be expanded which will benefit thousands of students across the country.

Minister for Public Expenditure, Michael McGrath, announced an increase of €200 today as well as improved accessibility to the grant due to the income threshold being expanded by €1000.

Minimum wage increase

The minimum wage is being raised to €10.50 per hour, a rise of 50 cents.

Free GP care for 6 and 7-year-olds

Free GP care to children aged 6 and 7 has been extended in Budget 2022. The plan is to extend this free coverage to children aged up to 12 in the coming years. This benefit forms part of the overall health budget of €20.38 billion announced earlier this afternoon.

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