Budget 2012 ROI: Changes relevant to older people
- Republic of Ireland
The Republic of Ireland's Budget 2012 was announced on 5 December and 6 December 2011. It contains a number of changes which may have an impact on older people in particular those who are already financially vulnerable and those living alone. The main relevant changes are listed below.
Cut in Fuel Allowance, a means-tested payment: it will now be paid over 26 weeks, compared to 32 weeks last year
Increase in Carbon Tax by €5 to €20 per tonne on fossil fuels.
The increase will apply to petrol and auto-diesel from midnight, 6 December 2011. The increase will apply from 1 May 2012 to Kerosene, Marked Gas Oil, Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG), Fuel Oil and Natural Gas.
Changes to contributory State Pensions
Currently a person with an average of 20-47 PRSI contributions per year over their working life receives a weekly State Pension of €4.50 less than a person with a yearly average of 48 or more PRSI contributions. A lower pension will be payable to new applicants for State Pension who have a yearly average of less than 48 PRSI contributions. (September 2012)
Currently, late claims for certain contributory pensions can be backdated on a reducing scale for up to 5 years. This backdating period will be reduced to a maximum of 6 months. This applies to State Pension (Contributory & Transition), Surviving Civil Partner's Contributory Pension and Widow(er)'s Contributory Pension. (April 2012)
Widow(er)’s Contributory Pension and Surviving Civil Partner’s Contributory Pension
The total number of paid PRSI contributions needed to qualify for Widow(er)'s Contributory Pension and Surviving Civil Partner's Contributory Pension will increase from 156 to 520 contributions. (July 2013)
People getting Widow(er)’s Pension, Surviving Civil Partner’s Pension or One-Parent Family Payment can get half-rate Jobseeker’s Benefit, Illness Benefit or Incapacity Supplement if they satisfy the qualifying conditions. These half-rate payments will cease for applicants for Jobseeker’s Benefit, Illness Benefit and Incapacity Supplement. (January 2012)
The threshold for the Drugs Payment Scheme will increase from €120 to €132 from January 2012.
There will be no change for medical card holders - the 50 cent per item charge on drugs remains.
People who claim free drugs under the Long Term Illness Scheme will now have free GP care.
Greater efficiencies such as a shift from inpatient to day care and a more rigorous allocation of home help hours have been signalled.
Additional funding of €55 million is to be made available for the Nursing Homes Support Scheme (“Fair Deal”) in 2012.
More information available at