Student’s Guide to Budget 2021

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Budget 2021 was announced this week, but you may be wondering – what does this mean for me? Here’s your guide to Budget 2021 and how it will affect you as a student, without the jargon.

All full-time third-level students are set to receive a payment of €250 in the coming year, to help compensate for financial impact the move to online learning had on students. This will be provided to students via the SUSI grant or as a refund from their €3000 student registration fee. Speaking of the SUSI grant, it will be increased in the coming year by €20 million. Over 10,000 upskilling and reskilling opportunities through SOLAS and Skillnet Ireland will be made available also.

For those of you who drive, you’ll find your expenses rising. The cost of petrol and diesel will go up as the Carbon Tax increases by €7.50 per tonne of CO2. For a diesel car, that will add around €1.50 to a 60 litre filling of the tank, with around €1.30 added to the cost of a petrol fill.

This year’s budget saw the largest allocation of money the Department of Social Protection has ever seen and will allow the Department to provide almost 700,000 pensions, working age supports for 548,000 people and illness, disability and carers allowances for 424,000. For those on the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP), there will be no restoration of the previous rate, but self-employed people will be allowed to earn up to €480 a month on top of their PUP. It was also confirmed that those in receipt of PUP would qualify for a Christmas bonus if they have been receiving payments for a minimum of four months.

There has been few major tax changes in Budget 2021, but the cost of cigarettes will rise by 50c. There has also been €38 million pledged towards mental health services, as well as €25 million for Healthy Ireland and the National Drugs Strategy.

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