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Helping you get through tough times

How the budget will affect you

Piggu bankMoney worries are such a stressor for us all.  So whether you’re interested in things like the budget or not, it’s good to know how it’ll affect your wallet.

On a night out/or in

  •  The price of a bottle of wine will increase by  €1
  •  Pints of beer and cider will be increased by 10c
  • Excise duty on spirits will rise by 10c per standard measure
  •  The duty on a packet of cigarettes will increase by 10c
  •  Roll-your-own tobacco will increase by 50c per packet.


  • The Drug Payment Scheme threshold is being increased from €132 to €144 per month
  • If  you’ve a medical card, prescription charges will increase from €0.50 to €1.50 per item.


  • VRT and motor tax will increase in 2013 (unless you drive a hybrid)
  • Some good news here, there’s no increase to the cost of petrol and diesel. Woohoo!

In school

  • If you’re 18 or under, your parents will be getting €10 less a month in child benefit for you
  • The back to school allowance has been cut by €50. That’s €50 less to go towards uniforms and shoes next year.

Third level education

  • No surprises here, the Student Contribution Charge will increase by €250 next year and every year until 2015. Next September you’ll have to pay €2,500 and that will go up to €2,750 in 2014 and €3,000 in 2015
  • Funding has been reduced by €13 million to VEC’s and €25 million to higher education institutions. It’ll be up to the colleges to decide how this will affect current and future students
  • The student grant income threshold will increase by 3%. Student grants are means-tested so if you’re applying for a grant in 2013, you (or your parents) will need to have an income of 3% less than you needed in 2012 to be eligible
    • The cost of education allowance (book grant) was €300 but will now be abolished. No more book grants for 2013
    • Participants on the Vocational Training Opportunities Scheme (VTOS), Youthreach and FÁS further education and training programmes who move from jobseeker’s payments will no longer have their new payments increased to the maximum €188 per week, if their jobseeker’s payment is less than this. However, people under 25 who were getting an age-related reduced rate of Jobseeker’s Allowance will get a standard maximum rate of €160 per week. (citizens information)

Working or looking for work

  • There’ll be no more Pay Related Social Insurance (PRSI) exemptions for low-income workers. Don’t panic, employees who earn €352 or less per week still won’t have  to make a PRSI contribution won’t affected. But, if you earn more than this per week you begin to pay PRSI. It’s estimated this could cost most people €264 per year
  • If you’re self-employed the minimum level of PRSI you have to pay per year will rise from €253 to €500 
  • On a positive note, reliefs to small and medium size enterprises may encourage employers to provide jobs.  An additional €12 million in 2013 and €26 million in a full year has been allocated to increase the numbers of placements available on labour activation schemes like JobBridge, Tus and community employment scheme.

On the dole

  • Good news. No changes to payments or criteria to be eligible for Jobseeker’s benefit or Jobseeker’s allowance.
  • However, the duration of the Jobseeker’s benefit has been cut by three months. This means if you’ve payed PRSI for two years prior to becoming unemployed you will now only receive benefit for nine months. After this you have to apply for Jobseeker’s allowance which is means-tested.


  • There’s been no change to rent allowance but due to increases in property taxes and PRSI, rents could increase if landlords choose to pass on the these costs on to tenants.


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