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The Household Benefits Package is paid to everyone in the country aged over 70 but it can only be claimed by one person per household. Photo: Stock Image

The Household Benefits Package is paid to everyone in the country aged over 70 but it can only be claimed by one person per household. Photo: Stock Image

The Household Benefits Package is paid to everyone in the country aged over 70 but it can only be claimed by one person per household. Photo: Stock Image

The Government is considering a one-off double payment of the €35-a-month Household Benefits Package as part of a range of cost-of-living measures aimed at tackling rising inflation.

The Household Benefits Package is paid to 484,000 people and includes a free television licence along with €35 a month towards a recipient’s gas or electricity bill.

It is paid to everyone in the country aged over 70 but it can only be claimed by one person per household.

The payment is also available to anyone aged between 66 and 70 who is in receipt of the state pension or the widow/widowers/surviving partner pension.

Anyone aged under 66 who is in receipt of the carer’s allowance or a disability allowance can also claim the
payment.

The payment is €35 per month to those who can avail of it and those in receipt of the benefit are also entitled to a free TV licence.

Government officials are examining if giving a double payment of the Household Benefits Package could provide more universal assistance than making further changes to the Fuel Allowance.

The Household Benefits Package was paid to some 484,000 people in 2021 while the Fuel Allowance was paid to 375,000 recipients.

The number in receipt of both payments is 210,000.

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Public Expenditure Minister Michael McGrath is developing a cost-of-living package which will be announced on Budget day and will come into effect before the end of the year.

Minister McGrath asked every department to examine what measures he could include in the package which would give both targeted and universal financial support to people struggling to pay bills due to record levels of inflation.

A significant element of the package will be a range of welfare measures, mostly likely double payments, of social welfare benefits.

A double payment of all welfare rates, including the pensions, jobseeker, carer and disability allowances, soon after Budget day is expected.

This will be in addition to a double payment of the so-called “Christmas bonus” which is paid to welfare recipients in December.

This would mean a pensioner on the top rate of €253.30 a week would get €512.60 after the Budget and the same payment again in December.

A person receiving €208 Jobseeker’s Allowance will get two weekly payments of €416.

The maximum weekly carer rate of €224 would be paid out twice at €448 if the Government goes ahead with the decision to double bonuses.

There are also plans being discussed to give a double payment of child benefit in the weeks after the Budget.

If introduced on September 27, parents would be in line for a €280 one-off payment if they have one child or €560 if they have two.

A family with three children would receive €840 if the policy is agreed by the coalition partners.

A family with twins would also get €840 as they receive one-and-a-half times the normal rate per child.


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