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All social welfare recipients to receive €200 bonus cost of living payment

There will be also be €100 extra on the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance to help families

Social Protection Minister Heather Humphreys

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar


All social welfare recipients will receive a €200 bonus payment under a fresh round of cost-of-living supports agreed by the Government set to total €1.25bn.

The payment will be made to pensioners, carers, lone parents, people with disabilities among others.

The coalition leaders also agreed to give a €100 bonus for every child on the Child Benefit scheme.

There will be also be €100 extra on the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance to help families.

Social Protection Minister Heather Humphreys went into the meeting of government leaders proposing a €150 bonus for all welfare rates.

However, she argued at the meeting this could be increased to €200 for another €65m and this was ultimately agreed by the leaders.

Ms Humphreys also secured an expansion of the School Meals Programme in primary schools.

Meanwhile, Minister Finance Michael McGrath tabled a motion to extend 9pc Vat rate on hospitality until the end of August at a cost of €300m.

Mr McGrath secured a total tax package worth €800m which included extending the excise duty cuts on petrol and diesel for another three months.

There will be a staggered increase in excise duty from June 1 with petrol going up by 6c and diesel by 5c. On September 1, petrol will go up by another 7c and diesel will go up by 5c. The remaining 8c on petrol and 6c on diesel will increase on October 31

The 9pc rate on the electricity and gas bills will be extended until the end of October.

Businesses are also in line to benefit from a shake up of the €1bn Temporary Business Energy Support Scheme (TBESS) which will allow them claim up to €12,500 a month for their utility bills.

The revised scheme will also allow more businesses to apply as the criteria for accessing the scheme will be loosened.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, Tánaiste Micheál Martin and Environment Minister Eamon Ryan met with Finance Minister Michael McGrath, Public Expenditure Minister Paschal Donohoe and Social Protection Minister Heather Humphreys to debate a new series of government supports for households and businesses struggling to pay bills.

Fine Gael insisted on the extra child benefit payment as they wanted interventions of a universal nature along with those that are more targeted at vulnerable families. However, the Green Party was concerned over Fine Gael’s stance on the cost of living.

One source yesterday said: “Varadkar wants to keep everything and is not proposing any new revenue-raising measures – it’s crazy.”

The source added that Mr Varadkar wants to “spend, spend, spend” and “Paschal Donohoe is pulling his hair out”.

Meanwhile, under the new business energy support scheme drafted by Enterprise Minister Simon Coveney, companies will be able to claim up to €12,500 a month to help pay their energy bills.

Under the existing scheme they can claim €10,000 per month as long as they have experienced a significant increase of 50pc or more in electricity and/or natural gas prices compared to the previous year.

The percentage change from the previous year is expected to be lowered under the reconfigured scheme to allow more businesses to apply for the funding.

The proposals will be brought before a full Cabinet meeting this morning where ministers who did not attend last night’s meeting can have their say.

A government statement issued following last night’s meeting said: “The Government is acutely aware of the impact that high prices are having on families, businesses and the most vulnerable.

“The proposed package will be targeted and include measures in social welfare, taxation, and reform of the TBESS scheme for business energy costs.

“It means that families, businesses and the most vulnerable will continue to receive some additional assistance from the State.

“It will also prevent a cliff-edge in terms of the tapering of particular measures and ensure that we still have sufficient resources for the next budget in the autumn.”​

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