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Budget 2023 has been announced, so what’s in it for you?

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At lunchtime today (Tuesday) Budget 2023 was announced which includes an €11 billion package in what's been described as a 'Cost of Living Budget'.

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe and Minister for Public Expenditure Michael McGrath announced a series of measures which they say will be "focused on helping individuals, families and businesses to deal with rising prices".

It included a further €300 million in public service support measures funded from the Contingency Reserve Fund.

"We were emerging from the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic. We now face a further economic challenge," Minister Donoghue said.

"The government understands, and I understand, the worries which small business owners, farmers, pensioners, those who work really hard to get by, will feel. This is why the government will help, and by helping our country will overcome this challenge."

THE BUDGET AT A GLANCE

Personal Tax Credit, Employee Credit and Earned Income Credit set to increase by €75

Standard rate band for Income Tax is to increase by €3,200 to €40,000

Increase in the second USC rate band (2 percent rate) from €21,295 to €22,920 in line with the 80 cent per hour increase in the national minimum wage recently agreed by this government

€200 electricity credits for homes over the next three billing cycles - November, January and March - (€600 in total)

Petrol/Diesel: The reduction on excise duty on fuel previously announced earlier this year to ease the cost of petrol and diesel has been further extended until February 28, 2023. Motorists will continue to pay 21 cent per litre in respect of petrol, 16 cent per litre in respect of diesel and 5.4 cent per litre in respect of Marked Gas Oil.

A €1.2 billion package of supports for businesses hit by soaring energy costs

New Temporary Business Energy Support Scheme (TBESS) has been set up to assist businesses with their energy costs. A monthly cap of €10,000 per trade will apply and an overall cap will apply on the total amount which a business can claim.

Excise on pack of 20 cigarettes to increase by 50 cent

Lump sum payment of €400 for Fuel Allowance recipients will be paid before Christmas

Extra lump sum for the elderly, carers, and disabled as social welfare rates go up €12

VAT: 9 percent VAT rate which is currently in place to support the tourism and hospitality sectors to remain in place until February 28, 2023

Double Child Benefit payment for all eligible parents on November 1

Christmas bonus to be paid in December, with a separate double payment in November

New rent tax credit worth €500 for 2023. This can also be claimed for 2022. This applies to those who do not get any other housing supports. Approximately 400,000 persons are expected to benefit.

Rural Ireland will get a €390 million investment for development

Newspaper: VAT on newspapers to be reduced from 9 percent to zero from January 1, 2023.

1,000 new Garda and 430 Garda staff will be provided

20% fare reduction on public transport will be extended to the end of 2023

Social Welfare

Weekly social welfare rates will be increased by €12 for working age recipients

€12 increase in weekly payments for pensioners

Working Family Payment threshold will increase by €40

€2 increase in the weekly rate for a Qualified Child

An increase in eligibility for Fuel Allowance

€500 lump sum for families availing of the Working Family Payment, a €500 lump sum for carers, a €500 cost of disability payment and a €20 increase in the domiciliary care allowance for sick children

Health

All inpatient hospital charges will be abolished, GP visit cards will be provided to those on or below the median income (340,000 additional people)

There will be a €2 increase in the weekly rate for a Qualified Child.

Drug Payment Scheme threshold will remain at the lower rate of €80 in 2023

Funding will be provided for IVF treatments

Free contraception will be available for all women aged between 16 and 30

Childcare and education

Free School Book Scheme for primary school pupils from autumn 2023

Over 660 additional mainstream teachers, over 1,190 SNAs and 680 special education teachers will be provided

The National Childcare Scheme hourly subsidy is to increase from 50c to €1.40

A €500 increase in post-graduate contribution grant for eligible families

Over 4,800 additional places on craft and consortia-led apprenticeships and 4,000 places on craft apprenticeship programmes will be supported

Housing

Funding will be made available to support 8,800 new HAP tenancies and 800 RAS tenancies

9,100 new-build social homes, 5,500 new affordable homes for sale and rent and 6,500 new social homes will be supported

Funding to deliver 37,000 home energy upgrades

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Teens theory is a national winner

Watch out Dallas as three local students are ready to take their science theory and blow the competition out of the water. Liam Waldron, Rachel Griffin and Luke O’Sullivan, Sixth […]

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Watch out Dallas as three local students are ready to take their science theory and blow the competition out of the water.

Liam Waldron, Rachel Griffin and Luke O’Sullivan, Sixth Year students from Killarney Community College, were named SciFest STEM Champions 2022 for their Group Theoretic Approach to Pythagoras’ Theorem.

The national finals of SciFest Ireland were held at the Marino Conference Centre in Dublin last Friday and they were attended by finalists from across Ireland.

The amazing trio will now go on to represent Ireland at the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (Regeneron ISEF) which will be held in Dallas, Texas in May 2023.

The students secured their place at the national final after they won the overall prize at the SciFest regional competition at MTU Kerry in May this year.

Their project takes possibly one of the most well-known theorems that everyone remembers from school, Pythagoras’ Theorem. It provides an alternate proof of it, while also highlighting how right-angled triangles naturally provide a link between two coordinate systems and how this special case can naturally recreate the Pythagorean Theorem.

Supported by Intel Ireland and Boston Scientific, SciFest was set up 17 years ago by Sheila Porter and her husband George.

It is the largest, most inclusive STEM fair programme for second-level students in Ireland.

“The aim of SciFest has always been to develop a love of STEM and of inquiry-based learning and every year it is refreshing to see how the students of today continue to love and enjoy immersing themselves in science, technology, engineering and maths,” Sheila Porter, SciFest CEO, said.

“As SciFest grows each year, we grow more excited to see what new experiments and technologies are thought of and created. This year, students have shown incredible innovation in how STEM can make a positive impact on society, with initiatives in farming, space exploration and healthcare.”

Each year SciFest awards a ‘Teacher of Excellence’ and this year Máire Spillane was the recipient for her work with Luke, Rachel and Liam. She accompanied them to both finals and could not be prouder of this huge achievement at national level.

Killarney Community College held a whole school assembly to congratulate the SciFest champions in school and the SciFest STEM Champions 2022 were met with rapturous applause from all students and staff.

Ms Spillane spoke about the importance of STEM subjects and acknowledged the fact that Killarney Community College offers all students the opportunity to study all four of the disciplines, Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths and how our students are encouraged to submit projects every year into SciFest. It may be a competition run by science teachers, but in KCC cross-curricular co-operation by teachers of all subjects, is practiced on a daily basis.

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Rathmore students look to the future

Students in Scoil Phobail Sliabh Luachra, Rathmore looked to the future as they explored third level opportunities. The teens took part in a number of activities to mark College Awareness […]

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Students in Scoil Phobail Sliabh Luachra, Rathmore looked to the future as they explored third level opportunities.

The teens took part in a number of activities to mark College Awareness Week which was held in schools and other education settings nationwide last week.

The focus throughout the week in their school was to highlight the wide range of options open to them when they leave school and to realise that there are pathways to suit all types of learners.

Students from First to Sixth Year took part in activities to get them thinking about their future plans.

First and Second year students completed a module on ‘My Pathways’ and Third Years had an introductory talk on options after school.

Transition Year students worked on a display on all the options and pathways available after school which will remain up permanently.

Senior Cycle students attended the Careers Fair in Munster Technological University (MTU) where they got a chance to meet universities, colleges of Further Education, agricultural colleges, apprenticeship and more education and training providers from around the country including past sudent Aidan O’Mahony at the stand with An Garda Síochána.

Leaving Cert and LCA students had a really informative talk in school on Further Education and apprenticeships from Ella O’Donoghue, Admissions Officer of Kerry College.

The week finished with a talk for Senior Cycle students on Business and Law options in UCC by Ian Wallace.

“A highlight of the week was the involvement of past students, who sent us video clips on their career stories so far and shared tips with students,” Niamh Dwyer, Guidance Counsellor at the school, said.

“It was fabulous to see how well our former students have done and it was really important for our current students to see the diversity of pathways they have taken including apprenticeships, Further Education courses, university, travel, setting up businesses and returning to education as mature students. We are really grateful to the past students who reconnected with us for this week, their input was inspiring and invaluable.”

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