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Budget 2023: All the big winners in €11bn package announced by Government

Minister Paschal Donohoe delivered his sixth Budget to the Dail this afternoon, unveiling a €11 billion package to help families make ends meet amid a surge in the cost of living.

Budgets over the past two years have concentrated on the Covid-19 pandemic but the package for 2023 is completely focused on the rising costs affecting the whole country. Both Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe and Public Expenditure Minister Michael McGrath addressed TDs at lunchtime today and released the highly anticipated details of next year's Budget.

Social welfare recipients were the big winners of today's Budget 2023 announcement, with significant increases across the board. There were also major changes announced to third-level fees, tax brackets and eligibility free healthcare schemes.

Read more: Budget 2023: Taoiseach Michael Martin says Ireland is in 'uncertain and difficult times' in social media update

Here is a rundown of the major features of Budget 2023:

Social welfare

Every pensioner, carer, disabled person and those on the dole are among the big winners in the Budget today as universal €12 a week social welfare hikes was announced. This measure alone will cost close to €1billion next year, with the increases kicking in from January 1. Before that, all welfare recipients will receive a double payment under the cost of living package in the coming weeks, and another one at Christmas.

Eligibility for the Fuel Allowance is also to be widened and payments increased. A once-off payment of €500 for carers of people with a disability was also announced.

A double payment will also be made to all of those in receipt of child benefit.

Third-level education

College students also received big wins in the Budget today, with the announcement that fees will be significantly reduced. Third-level fees have been immediately reduced by €1,000, while all families who earn under 100k will receive a further permanent €500 reduction. Families earning under €62,000 per year will pay no more than €1,500 in fees.

Students who receive the SUSI grant will get a double payment before Christmas. PHD students are also to receive a once-off cost of living payment.

Housing

The most notable housing measure announced in today's Budget was the reintroduction of a tax credit for renters. Taxpayers who rent will receive €1,000, split into two credits. One will apply this year and the second one will apply next year.

The Help to Buy scheme that gives first-time buyers tax rebate of €30,000 will be extended for another two years.

Taxation

Changes to tax brackets. was also announced by Minister Donohoe today. The higher rate of 40% will now only apply to those earning above €40,000 per year. The 2%USC band has been increased from €21,295 to €22,920. Personal tax credits for carers have also risen by €100 to €1,700.

Alcohol and cigarettes

No additional tax on alcohol was announced by Mr Donohoe today. However, cigarettes will now cost an extra 50c due to an excise increase.

Other cost of living measures

The reduced public transport fares announced earlier this year will be extended for 2023. All primary school students will get their schoolbooks for free from next September.

The public will receive €600 in electricity credit, to be paid over three bills.

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