Budget 2024: The fallout leaves many dissatisfied

As the fallout of Budget 2024 finally settles following the Government’s announcement last week, burning questions are still unsolved as to – who really benefited and who were hung out to dry. 

Residents, workers, and students from Phibsboro told The Liberty they saw more handouts than action. 

Euro cash notes – Photo: Unsplash

The energy credits, first introduced last year, will be repeated again this year – but at a lower rate. Three €150 payments can be expected in the next year spread over a number of months. Maeve Fallon, 66, who worked for the ESB since 1998, believes that the energy credits should have been raised to the original €600 and described the profits from the ESB as “immoral and unjustified”. 

“I do understand that the rate of inflation, and the price of energy is slowly dropping, but people are still struggling to get by and it’s no different from this time last year to now,” she said. “Most people my age are budgeting every week. I sold my car in February as I just couldn’t afford the cost of petrol anymore – let’s hope for a warm winter.” 

Dáil Éireann – Photo: X (Twitter) / Dáil Éireann

There will be a rise of €12 in social welfare payments in January and a range of once-off welfare supports too. The extra child benefit payment due before Christmas was welcomed by Cian Dardis, a community worker based in Phibsborough.

“My wife and I are working full-time, and putting our kids through secondary school is at times expensive. This year alone uniform costs jumped up significantly and the extra activities outside of school really would put a hole in the pocket,” Dardis said. “Even though the extra payment is a help, it’s not going to help us out in the long run. The Government really should’ve done more especially with the surplus cash they have right now.” 

The renter’s credit, introduced last year, will rise to €750 and landlords will get a tax break of up to €600. The Help-To-Buy scheme will now run until the end of 2025. College fees are enroute to be reduced for all undergraduate students and there will be free schoolbooks for secondary level students from 1st-3rd year.  

College students voice their opinion in Phibsborough – Photo: Jason Quigley

College student, Gearoid Sheedy, said this year’s Budget was a ‘golden pot’ of cash but failed to deliver real action for college students across Ireland. “The SUSI grant was increased by €300 for the next five remaining months of the scheme – however that’s only an extra €70-€80 a month for some students who are in the higher bracket band,” he said.  

For more information on Budget 2024, click here.

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