Budget 2016 – Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection

Print page

Over €250 million increase in Welfare Support Package for 2016

Christmas Bonus increases to 75% this December for long-term welfare recipients – up from 25% in 2014

Weekly Pension to increase by €3 for Pensioners and Carers aged 66 and over from January 2016

623,000 families to get €5 extra per child per month in Child Benefit

New Paternity Benefit to be launched in 2016

Carer's Support Grant of €1,700 – to benefit 86,000 Carers

Fuel Allowance to be increased by €2.50 to €22.50 per week from January 2016

Family Income Supplement threshold to increase by €5 per week for each of the first two children



  • €3 increase per week for Pensioners and Carers aged 66 and over – 583,000 people to benefit.


Christmas Bonus

€197 million to be paid to long-term welfare recipients in December

  • A 75% Christmas Bonus will be paid this December to recipients of a long-term Social Welfare payment (minimum payment of €20) – 1.23 million people to benefit.

People in receipt of the following payments will receive the Bonus:

  • State Pensions and Widow/Widower's/Surviving Civil Partner's Pensions
  • Invalidity Pension, Blind Pension, Disability Allowance, Carer's Allowance Domiciliary Care Allowance and Guardian's payments.
  • Long-term Jobseeker's Allowance including Jobseeker's Transition Payment, Pre-Retirement Allowance, One Parent Family Payment, Deserted Wife's Benefit and Allowance and Farm Assist
  • Back to Work Allowance, Community Employment, Rural Social Scheme, Tús, Gateway and Job Initiative.


Families with Children

€98 million extra to support Families with Children in 2016

  • A new 2 week Paternity Benefit will be launched in respect of births from September 2016.
  • Child Benefit will increase by €5 to €140 for each child per month from January.
Child Benefit
Family Size
2015 Monthly Rate
2016 Monthly Rate
2016 Annual Rate
Yearly Increase From 2016
1 child
2 children
3 children
4 children
5 children
6 children
  • Families with twins receive one and a half times the normal monthly rate for each child. Families with multiple births receive Child Benefit at double the normal monthly rate for each child.

  • An extra €3 million is being provided towards the School Meals Programme, increasing the funding to €42 million in 2016.


Family Income Supplement

  • €18 million extra being provided to increase all Family Income Supplement (FIS) income thresholds by €5 for each of the first two children from January 2016.
Family Size
Current weekly limit
January 2016 Weekly limit
1 child
2 children
3 children
4 children
5 children
6 children

The level of FIS payment will continue to be based on 60% of the shortfall between net weekly family income and the applicable weekly family threshold.


Fuel Allowance increase during the current Fuel Season

An extra €2.50 per week on the Fuel Allowance for long-term welfare recipients, increasing the payment to €22.50 per week from January 2016, with 381,000 households to benefit including pensioners, people with disabilities, lone parents and jobseekers.


Older People and People with Disabilities

  • €3 increase per week for Pensioners and Carers aged 66 and over.
  • €2 increase for qualified adults aged under 66 years and an increase of €2.70 for qualified adults aged 66 years or over – 93,500 to benefit.
  • €30 million for Carer’s Support Grant (formerly Respite Care Grant) to increase by €325 to €1,700 per year paid to carers for each person being cared for.
  • Carer’s Allowance to be paid for 12 weeks (currently 6 weeks) from January, after the death of the person being cared for.
  • €3 million additional funding to fund Free Travel scheme, increasing the funding to €80 million in 2016.


PRSI – January 2016

  • A new tapered PRSI Credit is being introduced for employees insured at Class A whose earnings are between €352.01 and €424 in a week.  This Credit will reduce the weekly PRSI bill for over 88,000 employees.
  • The lower 8.5% Class A rate of employer PRSI will now apply to weekly earnings up to €376 (up from €356) - 26,000 employers to benefit.


In-Work Supports

  • The earnings disregard for Jobseeker’s Transitional Payment will increase from €60 to €90 per week from January 2016 for existing and new recipients.  All earnings above €90 will be assessed at 50% (currently assessed at 60%).
  • Family Income Supplement thresholds to be increased by €5 for each of the first two children per week from January.  The threshold for the third and all other children will be €10.
  • Increase in top-up payments for Community Employment (CE), Rural Social Scheme (RSS), Gateway, Job Initiative, Tús and JobBridge participants of €2.50 per week from January.

Social Welfare Rates for 2016


View the Tánaiste's Press Release

View the Tánaiste's Speech

View the Minister of State's Press Release

View the Budget Factsheet (PDF 404 KB) 

For more information check www.welfare.ie and www.citizensinformation.ie.

Telephone the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection on 071-9193302 or 1890 66 22 44 (LoCall) from 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday. 

Telephone the Citizens Information Phone Service on 0761 07 4000, 9am - 8pm Monday to Friday.

Contact your local Intreo Centre, Social Welfare Office or Citizens Information Centre.

The rates charged for 1890 (LoCall) numbers may vary among different service providers.

This Fact Sheet is intended as a guide only and does not purport to be a legal interpretation.

Last modified:13/10/2015