Minister for Finance Pascal Donohoe announced the biggest budget in the history of the State including a €50 million fund which will provide financial aid for third-level students across the country.
According to Donohoe, the nearly €18 billion budget package was “unprecedented in both size and scale in the history of the Irish State.”
The budget package will provide a once-off financial aid to full-time third level students. This financial assistance is likely to be worth €250 to each individual student.
Education was a large area of focus in the 2021 budget, as Minister for Education Norma Foley is to create 600 new jobs in the education sector.
The 2021 budget has introduced the largest ever investment in social and affordable housing, as 12,750 new homes are to be added to social housing. As budget 2021 will invest €3.3 billion into social and affordable housing.
The budget also aims to make homes affordable for first-time buyers and renters.
The 2021 budget will deliver an extra €4 billion for health spending, to meet the costs of Covid-19 and expand the health service’s capacity with more beds, more doctors, new service and new facilities.
The government also agreed on a decision to pay a Christmas bonus to the majority of people who are receiving the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP).
Over 228,000 people are currently claiming the payment, with an estimated 80 per cent to 90 per cent in line to receive a double payment on December 7th.
An agreement was reached between the Minister for Public Expenditure Michael McGrath and Minister for Social Protection Heather Humphreys to make a once off policy change to the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP).
The change means that anyone receiving the payment for a period of four months or more up to December will receive the bonus. These months do not need to be consecutive.
Budget 2021 is the first budget agreed by the coalition government of Fianna Fail, Fine Gael and the Green Party.
Image Credit: Grace O’Sullivan