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10th Oct 2023

Budget 2024: Parents and families to get a major boost in coming months

Anna Martin

Budget 2024 has just been announced and there are a few wins for families.

Tuesday’s € 6.4 billion package has addressed a number of concerns that parents around the country share as the cost of living crisis continues.

Today, the Government has promised a 25 per cent reduction in the cost of childcare, bringing the total cost over two budgets to 50 per cent.

Though this is a major boost for working families there is still a while to wait as this will not kick in until September 2024.

The rate for statutory foster care will be increased by the end of next year by €75 per week for children under the age of 12 and €73 per week for children over 12.

There will be a double child benefit payment of €280 per child, which is set to be paid before Christmas and on top of this it was announced that this benefit will be paid to parents of 18-year-olds who are still in full-time education.

In other education news, one of the biggest costs of the start of the school year to parents is set to be made free.

Free books will be introduced at junior cycle level in secondary school, benefitting 770,000 children across the country.

Families who have an income of less than €100,000 will see college fees for undergraduates halved from €3,000 to €1,500 this year and all other families will have full-time student fees cut by €1,000.

Minister Donohoe also announced the Government’s plans to tackle child poverty through new measures due to be introduced including, an increase in the Qualified Child payment by €4 to €46 per week for kids under 12 and €54 for those over.

Alongside this, the hot school meals programme will be expanded to another 900 primary schools around the country in April 2024, parents’ benefit will be extended to nine weeks from August 2024 and a  €400 lump sum payment will be given to recipients of the Working Family Payment.