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Irish Government Set to Unveil Generous Measures in Upcoming National Budget

Dublin: The Irish government is poised to unveil a host of initiatives aimed at benefiting the general populace. Anticipated to be brimming with promising announcements, the National Budget, scheduled for presentation by the Finance Minister on October 10, holds significant potential.

With just eight months remaining until the local elections, the ruling coalition is gearing up to deliver tangible benefits to the electorate.

One notable proposal on the table is the potential elimination of excise duty hikes on fuel, slated to take effect by the end of this month. This move is expected to offer respite to commuters, parents, and middle-class households. The overarching strategy involves discontinuing proposed excise duty increases after a final adjustment of 7 cents per litre on petrol and 5 cents on diesel, aimed at maintaining fuel prices below the two-euro mark.

Simultaneously, the government is planning to augment funding for the School Meals Programme, extending the provision of hot meals to hundreds of additional schools. This initiative ensures that every student in Ireland’s schools receives a daily free hot meal. Furthermore, there may be an increase in the current allocation of 60 cents per child for breakfast to 75 cents. The breakfast programme, inclusive of items such as bread, fruit, milk, or yoghurt, will remain a pivotal component of this effort.

The Current School Feeding Programme to Witness Substantial Expansion in Ireland.

Presently, the school feeding scheme allocates €1.40 per lunch to a limited number of schools, providing students with options like sandwiches and hot beverages. However, there are plans underway to increase the existing funding of €2.90 per student for each hot school meal to €3.20, encompassing schools throughout the entire nation.

The overarching objective of the school feeding programme is to ensure that children, who might otherwise be deprived of quality nutrition, have access to regular and nutritious meals. According to a study report, there is also contemplation of extending the programme to encompass meal provisions during Christmas, Easter, and mid-term breaks.

Furthermore, the government is committed to reducing fees for third-level college education by an additional €1,000, with the intention of lightening the financial burden on students pursuing higher education.

In a bid to further support single mothers and fathers desiring to pursue college education, there is a likelihood of additional grants being announced to facilitate their academic endeavours.

Irish Budget Set to Address Childcare and Energy Concerns, Alongside Taxation Reforms

The forthcoming budget is set to introduce measures aimed at assisting parents of young children by enhancing childcare facilities. In response to inflation and staffing demands, there are plans to reduce the cost of crèche services, while the government’s comprehensive strategy to combat child poverty is expected to require an investment exceeding half a billion euros. Child poverty, primarily affecting low-income families, is a pressing issue affecting approximately one in seven Irish children, as highlighted by Susanne Rogers of Social Justice Ireland.

Despite recent minor reductions by power companies, energy prices have remained elevated. There are indications that the government may implement further concessions to alleviate the burden on consumers.

Additionally, it is suggested that households may receive winter energy credits, similar to previous instances, with an expected amount of €200 in credits.

In terms of income tax, the budget is poised to introduce additional pay credits and expand pay bands, potentially benefiting a wide spectrum of the population.

Furthermore, the Universal Social Charge (USC) is anticipated to witness a reduction of at least 0.5 percentage points from the existing rate of 4.5%.

As part of the government’s efforts, there is a plan to increase all social welfare payments by €10.

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