In other news before we dive into the budget reactions, two underwater blasts were recorded prior to the discovery of three leaks on pipelines linking Russia and Europe, a Swedish seismological institute said as the unexplained leaks raised suspicions of sabotage.
Back here on the budget - the core social welfare rates and state pension are set to increase by €12 from 1 January, with multiple lump sum payments set to be paid out before Christmas. Michael McGrath said that the welfare increases would not increase until January due to the number of lump sum supports that were being introduced in the meantime.
The Minister for Public Expenditure yesterday also announced the expansion of the government’s free contraception scheme to women aged 16 to 30. The change will come into effect from 1st September 2023 and could see an individual save up to €470 on the cost of prescription contraception.
In response to the Budget, Fórsa called for a more radical approach to childcare, saying it needs more than a temporary crisis intervention. The union said the future of the Irish workplace is being shaped by how working families with young children are currently forced to weigh the cost of childcare against entering or returning to the workplace. Read our full statement here.
Meanwhile, ICTU said the budget falls short in terms of protecting low-paid and low-income households from the highest inflation rates in almost four decades. Patricia King said the “grossly inadequate” 80c increase in the minimum wage and the €12 increase in core social welfare rates will mean that low-paid workers and households living on fixed social welfare rates will see a decline in real incomes.