Budget 2021 Announced

The Irish government have announced their budget for 2021. The budget was announced by the Minister for Finance, Pascal Donohoe and the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Michael McGrath. Outlining the budget the Minister for Finance said that it was for both the possibility of a hard Brexit and the COVID crisis. The Minister for Expenditure followed by calling for a green economy. Sinn Fein's Spokesperson, Pearce Doherty, said that the budget did not provide certainty for the public. Labour's Ged Nash said that the budget did little to address the problems in the health system. The Social Democrat's Roisin Shorthall concurred that certainty has not been provided to people.

Justice to receive €3 billion in 2021

  • up to 620 new Garda recruits and 500 Garda staff, who will help free up more Gardaí for frontline duties
  • €42 million to modernise the Justice Sector through increased digital and ICT investment, including €8 million for the Courts Modernisation Programme and €5 million for the Department of Justice ICT strategy
  • €27 million for COVID-related measures
  • an extra €10 million in capital expenditure and €4.4 million in current expenditure for Forensic Science Ireland
  • €2.7 million in increased funding to combat domestic, sexual and gender based violence, as well as support for victims
  • an extra €2 million to fund additional staffing for the Data Protection Commission and help it achieve its goal of having well in excess of 200 staff by the end of 2021
  • an overall increase of €147 million in current expenditure and €51 million capital funding in the Justice Sector, bringing the total justice increase for Budget 2021 to almost €200 million

Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage receives €5billion

  • €3.3 billion spend in housing – 24% increase on 2020 and highest investment in housing by any Government in a single year
  • social housing needs of over 28,500 additional households to be met in 2021
  • 12,750 new homes will be added to the available supply of social housing through build, acquisition and long-term leasing
  • support for local authorities and Approved Housing Bodies to deliver 9,500 new build homes in 2021
  • range of affordability measures including €110 million for a new Affordable Purchase Shared Equity Scheme for first time buyers and a new cost rental model
  • €218 million (€166 million in budget 2020) to ensure those experiencing homelessness are supported and helped to successfully exit homelessness. (6,000 exits from homelessness estimated for 2021)
  • €1.3 billion investment in water services
  • €65 million will facilitate energy efficiency improvements to social housing homes
  • €60 million to adapt the homes of up to 10,700 older people and people with a disability
  • increase funding to €21 million for the Residential Tenancies Board and local authority rental inspections and to implement reforms for the short-term letting sector
  • €150 million for the Urban Regeneration and Development Fund (URDF)
  • €192 million contribution to the Local Government Fund
  • heritage funding for 2021 will amount to €95.5 million - an increase of 51% on this year
  • access to additional central COVID-19 funding as required in 2021

Defense will receive €1.07billion

500 million for a Shared Island Fund

  • the Shared Island Fund will provide resources of €500 million to be made available out to 2025 to foster new investment and development opportunities on a North/South basis
  • the Shared Island Fund provides significant new, multiannual capital funding for investment on a strategic basis in collaborative North/South projects that will support the commitments and objectives of the Good Friday Agreement and strengthen links across society on both parts of the island
  • the funding will be disbursed to departments and agencies in line with the Programme for Government priorities and on the basis of collaborative North/South projects

Agriculture will get €2billion in funding

Rural and Community development will receive €341 million

  • An extra €5 million to invest in remote working facilities at Broadband Connection Points (BCPs) and Digital Hubs
  • €2 million extra to fund masterplans for up to 50 town centres
  • An additional €2 million for greenways, blueways, trails and other amenities
  • Extra funding for schemes such as LEADER, CLÁR and the Rural Regeneration Development Fund (RRDF)
  • €2 million in additional funding for our islands

€25 Billion to Social Welfare Department

  • Largest ever annual allocation to the Department of Social Protection

  • Budget provides increases to vulnerable people with the greatest need

  • Resources focused on pensioners, carers, people with disabilities, families and jobseekers

  • Pension Age to remain at age 66

  • Carers Support Grant increased by €150 next year to €1,850

  • Increase in qualified child payment for almost 420,000 children dependent on social welfare

  • Over 375,000 to benefit from increased fuel allowance

  • 2020 Christmas Bonus extended to PUP and Jobseeker recipients with 15month requirement reduced to 4 months as an exceptional measure