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12th Oct 2021

Budget 2022: Free GP care for 6 and 7-year-olds and increased parents leave

Kat O'Connor

Here’s everything parents need to know about Budget 2022.


  • Free GP care has been extended to children aged 6 and 7 with the intention to extend it up to the age of 12.
  • Free contraception for women aged 17-25 from next August.
  • €250 million investment in resolving waiting list crisis.
  • Threshold for the drug payment scheme lowered to €100 max.
  • €37 million expansion in mental health services.
  • 19 additional critical care beds funded next year.
  • €105 million for disability services


  • Children up to the age of 15 to be included in National Childcare Scheme.
  • €69 million for new funding stream for 4,700 childcare providers from September 2022
  • €716 million investment in the childcare sector

Minimum Wage

The minimum wage will be increased by 30c to €10.50 per hour.


  • Back-to-School Allowance increased by €10.
  • Pupil to teacher ratio to be reduced to 24
  • Funding for 980 additional teachers
  • Funding for 1,165 SNAs
  • €4 million to extend hot school meals scheme
  • €200 contribution fee for post-Leaving Cert courses abolished
  • Susi maintenance grant will be increased by €200
  • The threshold for families applying for Susi expanded by €1,000
  • Qualifying distance for Susi grant reduced to 30km

Parents Leave

  • Parents Leave will be increased to seven weeks in July 2022.
  • Parents of new babies can avail of €245 payment from Government.

Lone Parents

  • Lone Parents allowance will increase by €5


  • Christmas bonus will be paid to welfare recipients
  • Fuel allowance will increase by €5 tonight
  • Main welfare payments, including jobseekers, will increase by €5
  • PUP will remain in place until end of February 2022


  • 3% Zoned Land Tax to encourage building homes on land
  • The help-to-buy scheme will continue in 2022
  • €174 million for over 4,000 affordable homes in 2022
  • 9,000 new build social housing units will be delivered in 2022
  • 14,000 additional Housing Assitance Payment tenancies


  • The cost of 20 packet of cigarettes will increase by 50c.


  • Ceiling of USC second rate band will increase to €21,295.
  • All of the personal tax credits will increase by €50
  • Reduced VAT of 9% for hospitality will remain until August 2022

Legal Aid for Victims

  • Funding for victims of domestic abuse, gender-based violence, and sexual abuse to extend legal aid