Belfast Telegraph

Public spending cuts in detail

The first half of the Irish Budget for 2012 has outlined a number of public spending cuts.

The first of these is a reduction in child benefit, which will save 45 million euro. Payment for third child cut to 148 euro per month, with fourth and subsequent children down to 160 euro per month.

There will also be a shorter fuel allowance season - moving from 32 weeks to cover the six coldest months of the year - saving 51 million euro.

The back to school allowance for two and three-year-olds is to be abolished, saving 30 million euro.

Public service payroll savings will see 10% cut from overtime and 5% from allowances.

There will be no reduction in weekly social welfare payments, although jobseekers' benefit will be based on a five-day week, instead of six, saving 5.9 million euro. Changes to the one-parent family payment will save 20.7 million euro, and the age limit of the youngest child for receipt of payment reduces to seven by 2014.

Weekly carer's allowance and carer's benefit rates will not change. Meanwhile, third-level student registration fees will rise by 250 euro, securing savings of 18.5 million euro.

Changes to fee and maintenance support for new postgraduate students, and reducing maintenance grants generally, will deliver savings of 12.6 million euro.

The employer redundancy rebate will also be cut from 60% to 15%, saving 81 million euro. The monthly threshold for the Drug Payment Scheme will jump from 120 euro to 132 euro, saving 12 million euro. And a total of 50 million euro will be saved by securing efficiencies of 2% in disability, mental health and children's services.

A 20 million euro allocation will be made for a new Labour Market Activation Fund which will be specifically targeted at the long-term unemployed, delivering upward of 6,500 places.

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From Belfast Telegraph