CIB Pre-Budget Submission 2023
‘Caught in a bind’: Targeted Supports Needed to Alleviate Cost of Living Pressures on Citizens’
The Citizens Information Board (CIB) has presented its Pre-Budget Submission ‘Caught in a bind’: Targeted Supports Needed to Alleviate Cost of Living Pressures on Citizens’ to the Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe and the Minister for Social Protection, Heather Humphreys.
The submission comes at a time of ever-increasing costs for citizens due to a variety of factors. These concerns arise following the queries received by our funded services (Citizens Information and the Money Advice and Budgeting Service (MABS)) who deal directly with the public. Evidence from these services continues to demonstrate the pressures people are facing as well as their experiences of being ‘caught in a bind’ between eligibility requirements for a range of schemes involving different means tests, income thresholds, and disregards combined with increasing rents, energy, and food prices.
Budget priorities relating to housing supports, meeting energy costs and income adequacy measures are outlined with targeted measures and more flexible welfare supports proposed for consideration. These include:
- Improved supports in relation to HAP, and for low-income renters who fall outside of eligibility for housing supports
- Increased resources for the Housing Adaptation Grant; and for addressing the other costs of disability
- Supports with energy costs for social welfare recipients as well as for those who are just outside the income limit for eligibility
- Supports for those combining welfare and part-time and casual working patterns
- Improved supports for those aged between 18 – 24 years.
- Improved supports for the self-employed, along with increases in PRSI
- Provisions in relation to co-habiting couples, child maintenance, and for those experiencing domestic violence
- Improvements in medical card eligibility, and increased investment in GP services, primary care, and community care services
The Money Advice and Budgeting Service
MABS recommendations relating to income adequacy, housing supports, housing debt and a national financial inclusion strategy are set out in the second part of this submission. Specific priority areas of concern highlighted by MABS for Budget 2023 include:
- Social welfare and utility costs
- Eligibility criteria for social supports
- Review of the HAP scheme
- Inflation-proofing polices related to mortgage debt and consumer protection
- Review of the Household Budget Scheme