Budget 2016 was announced on 13 October 2015. Some of the changes announced in the Budget come into effect immediately. Others take effect from the beginning of January 2016 or later in 2016. Many others have to be finalised before coming into effect.
Budget updates as well as information regarding community services, legal information, health and advice can be found in the Senior Citizen and Family Carer Guidebook. The 2016 edition of the guidebook will be available in January from all 22 Home Instead Senior Care offices throughout the country. It is an annual guidebook that is published in partnership with Nursing Homes Ireland, Age & Opportunity and Age Action as all organisations have a vested interest in helping older people live a happy, healthy and independent life for as long as possible.
“The information and advice in the guidebook makes it easier for families to navigate the ageing terrain in Ireland. The guidebook also includes real life stories and case studies from people who age “successfully” – these are the people who have prepared for their older years or who have cared for ageing loved ones and taken steps to safeguard their health, safety, social and family needs.
“While ageing and caring for loved ones may present many challenges, it also presents an opportunity to continue to live a happy, healthy and independent life. We encourage older people and family carers alike to take the time to read the guidebook and stop, think and plan for the future and think about what is necessary to age successfully”, says Ed Murphy, CEO and Founder of Home Instead Senior Care in Ireland.
- State Pensions - The weekly rate for people getting State pensions will increase by €3 per week. Payments to carers and widowers, widows and surviving civil partners aged over 66 will also increase by €3 per week (January 2016).
- Increases for Qualified Adults aged under 66 years will go up by €2 and increases for qualified adults aged 66 years or over will go up by €2.70 (January 2016). These changes will benefit 583,000 recipients of payments and 93,500 dependants.
- Fuel Allowance will increase by €2.50 per week to €22.50 per week. Fuel Allowance is paid to people getting long-term social welfare payments - including pensioners, people with disabilities, people parenting alone and jobseekers (January 2016). This provision will benefit 381,000 households.
- Free Travel - There is €3 million in additional funding for the Free Travel Scheme in 2016. This provision will provide for the increased numbers of people eligible for the scheme.
- Christmas Bonus - A 75% Christmas Bonus will be paid in December 2015 to people getting a long-term social welfare payment (minimum payment of €20). People getting the State Pensions and Widow's/Widower's/Surviving Civil Partner's Pensions will receive the Christmas Bonus.
- Senior Alerts Programme - Funding for theSeniors Alert programme is increased by 10%, to provide 10,000 monitored alarms for older people.
- Income Tax - theHome Carer's Tax Credit that is given to married couples or civil partners where one spouse or civil partner works in the home caring for a dependent person is increasing from €810 to €1,000 for 2016. The home carer’s income threshold is increasing from €5,080 to €7,200.
- Carer’s Support Grant - the name of the Respite Care Grant will be changed to the Carer’s Support Grant to better reflect how it is used by recipients. The grant will increase by €325 to €1,700 per year for each person being cared for (June 2016). This will benefit 86,000 carers.
- Carer’s Allowance – the carer’s allowance will be paid for 12 weeks (currently 6 weeks) after the death of the person being cared for (January 2016).
- Christmas Bonus - A 75% Christmas Bonus will be paid in December 2015 to people getting a long-term social welfare payment (minimum payment of €20). People getting the Carer’s Allowance will receive the Christmas Bonus.
To pre-order the 2016 guidebook call 1890 989 755, alternatively you can download the 2015 edition from www.HomeInstead.ie.