15-10-2015 | Main points of Budget 2016 in health, education and welfare

15 October 2015
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'15-10-2015 | Main points of Budget 2016 in health, education and welfare' image

These are the main points from Budget 2016 in health, education and welfare.


  • Free GP care will be extended to children aged 6-11 years, subject to negotiation with organisations representing Doctors.
  • Funding for the Fair Deal Scheme to reduce nursing home wait.
  • Expansion of paramedic & community responder services
  • Increase in access to speech and language and occupational therapy.
  • No change in prescription charges for medical card holders (people with epilepsy are already eligible to be on the Long Term Illness Scheme to avoid prescription charges on free epilepsy medications)
  • No change in the threshold for the Drugs Payments Scheme
  • No change in hospital overnight charges


  • No change to the main weekly disability payments.
  • Respite care grant goes back up to €1700 annually.
  • Home Carers Tax Credit increased by €190 to €1000
  • Carer's Allowance to be paid for 12 weeks (currently 6 weeks) from January, after the death of the person being cared for
  • Increase of €3 per week in the Old Age Pension.
  • Increase of €2.50 in weekly fuel allowance
  • Christmas bonus restored to 75% of weekly payment rate.
  • Child benefit increased by €5 per month 
  • €3 million additional funding to fund Free Travel scheme, increasing the funding to €80 million in 2016
  • Addition of €2.50 per week to top-up payments for Community Employment, Rural Social Scheme, Gateway, Tus, and JobBridge programmes.


  • Free preschool extended to children aged from 3 years to 5 ½ years or up to when the child starts school
  • Extra supports to allow children with disabilities attend mainstream schools and extra teachers at primary and post primary level to reduce the pupil teacher ratio.
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