Subscriber OnlyBudget 2024

Energy credits, tax cuts, welfare hikes: Key dates when people will get budget money

Energy credits, increased social welfare payments and changes to tax and USC bands are on the way


Now that the dust has settled on Budget 2024, the details of when the changes announced by Minister for Finance Michael McGrath and Minister for Public Expenditure Paschal Donohoe earlier this month will take effect have become clearer.

There are a range of increased welfare payments, once-off cost of living measures and tax changes and reliefs to come. But who is getting what, and when?

Week starting November 20th

A Working Family Payment is to be paid to 46,000 families and will be worth €400 per household.

The Fuel Allowance, amounting to €300 will be issued to some 400,000 qualifying households.


The Disability Support Grant, worth €400, will be also paid at this point.

Week starting November 27th

A €400 Carer’s Support bonus payment will be issued to carers.

A once-off Living Alone Allowance of €200 will be paid to close to 250,000 qualifying applicants.

A standalone payment of €100 for those in receipt of the qualified child social welfare payment will be provided.

December 1st

The first of three €150 energy credits will start to be processed. The credit will be applied to all electricity bills issued after this date and will see that sum taken off the total bill for the qualifying period. There is no requirement for anyone to do anything and the payments will be universal.

Week starting December 4th

A Christmas Bonus double social welfare payment will be issued to more than 1.3 million people.

A double Child Benefit payment will be issued to 650,000 families, covering a total of 1.2 million children. It will be worth an extra €140 per child.

January 1st

The second of of three €150 energy credits will come into effect and and will be applied to all electricity bills issued after this date.

From the start of the year, the maximum rate of all weekly social welfare payments increases by €12, with the rise proportional for those on reduced rates.

The weekly rate for Qualified Children payments will increase by €4 to €46 for children aged under 12. It will increase from €50 to €54 for children aged 12 and over.

The Working Family income limits will increase by €54 across all family sizes.

The Domiciliary Care Allowance will increase by €10 to €340 per month.

Income tax rates will stay the same (at 20 per cent and 40 per cent), but there will be increases to tax credits and changes to the income tax bands.

The entry point for the higher rate of tax is increasing by €2,000 to €42,000 for a single person, with proportionate increases for married couples and civil partners. The changes are likely to be seen in the first pay packet of the new year.

The ceiling for the 2 per cent Universal Social Charge band increases by €2,840 from €22,920 to €25,760. The 4.5 per cent rate that currently applies to income between €22,920 and €70,044 will be reduced to 4 per cent. That rate applies to income between €25,760 and €70,044.

A range of tax credits will also increase by €100. First up are the personal tax credit; the employee tax credit; and the Earned Income Tax Credit, which will all climb to €1,875.

The Home Carer Tax Credit increases by €100 to €1,800.

The Single Person Child Carer Credit rises by €100 to €1,750.

The incapacitated child tax credit climbs by €200 to €3,500.

The 9 per cent VAT rate on ebooks and audio books will be reduced to zero on January 1st.

A new Mortgage Interest Tax Relief will be introduced for a year for homeowners who had an outstanding mortgage balance of between €80,000 and €500,000 on their primary home on December 31st, 2022. It will be available on the increased interest you pay on your mortgage this year when compared with the amount you paid in 2022. The tax relief on the increase will be 20 per cent, capped at €1,250.

The Rent Tax Credit for people paying for private rented accommodation will be increased from €500 to €750 a year. It will be extended to parents who pay for rented accommodation for their student children under the rent-a-room scheme and for digs. This change will be backdated to include the 2022 and 2023 tax years.

Week starting January 29th

A second double social welfare week will see an additional payment made to some 1.3 million people.

March 1st

The third and last of three €150 energy credits will start to be processed and will be applied to all electricity bills issued after this date.


The Carer’s Allowance income disregard will increase to €450 for a single person and €900 for a couple.


Parents’ benefit will increase from seven weeks to nine weeks.


Child Benefit will be extended to children aged 18 who are in full-time education.

Conor Pope

Conor Pope

Conor Pope is Consumer Affairs Correspondent, Pricewatch Editor and cohost of the In the News podcast