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KNOW YOUR RIGHTS: Help with the Cost of Living

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Prices have risen this year and you may be struggling to pay for the everyday things you need to support yourself and your family.

The Government announced some new Cost of Living supports on February 21.

People getting social welfare payments

In April 2023, if you are getting the Working Family Payment or any weekly long-term social welfare payment that qualifies for the Christmas Bonus, you will get a once-off payment of €200. Long term payments include State Pensions, Carers Allowance, Carers Benefit, Farm Assist, Disability Allowance, Invalidity Pension and One-Parent Family payments.

You will only get one €200 payment even if you get more than one qualifying social welfare payment. In June 2023, you will get an extra €100 for each child with your monthly Child Benefit payment. Child Benefit is paid to parents or guardians of children under 16 years. You may also get it, if your child is aged 16 or 17 years in full-time education or full-time training or has a disability and cannot support themselves

State exam fees

If you have a child taking the Leaving Certificate or Junior Cycle examination, there will be no exam fees in 2023.

School transport

If your child uses the School Transport Scheme, the fee for the school year 2023-2024 will be reduced to €50 for a primary school child and €75 for a secondary school child. The maximum fee for a family will be €125.
The scheme provides transport for children who live over a certain distance from the appropriate school. Even if your child meets the criteria for school transport, a place is not guaranteed.

Help for business owners

If you are a business owner, you will have easier access to the Temporary Business Energy Support Scheme (TBESS) to help with businesses energy costs. Your business will qualify if it has had a 50% increase in electricity or gas costs (up from 30% increase). The amount you get back will increase to 50% of the cost of eligible electricity and gas bills (up from 40%).
The Scheme is extended to May 31.

VAT will remain at the 9% reduced rate until August 31, 2023 for hospitality services, and until October 31, 2023 for gas and electricity. Read more about help with the cost of living on https://bit.ly/livingcostshelp.

Additional Needs Payment

The Additional Needs Payment can help you with an expense that you cannot pay from your weekly income. The amount that you can get depends on your circumstances and the type of help you need. You can get the Additional Needs Payment for:

An increase in your fuel or electricity costs
Essential repairs to property, including motor vehicles and replacing household appliances and furniture
Funeral costs
Deposits for private rented accommodation
Bedding and cooking utensils, if you are setting up home for the first time
Food, clothing and shelter after an emergency event such as a fire or flood
Recurring travel costs to hospital
Visiting a relative in hospital or prison

This is not a complete list, other expenses can be covered too.

For anyone needing information, advice or have an advocacy issue, you can call a member of the local Citizens Information team in Kerry on 0818 07 7860, they will be happy to assist and make an appointment if necessary. The offices are staffed from Monday to Friday from 10am to 4pm. Alternatively you can email on tralee@citinfo.ie or log on to www.citizensinformation.ie for further information.

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Ring of Beara Cycle launches school programme

The Ring of Beara Cycle is for kids too! As part of its commitment to make a positive impact on the local community, the Ring of Beara Cycle are proud […]

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The Ring of Beara Cycle is for kids too! As part of its commitment to make a positive impact on the local community, the Ring of Beara Cycle are proud to continue to with two great initiatives: its Kids’ Cycle and its sponsorship of the School Cycle Safety Programme.

The Ring of Beara Cycle will take place on May 25 with over 4,000 cyclists taking part. The event starts and finishes in Kenmare town, Co Kerry to complete either a 110km or 140km route encompassing the magnificent mountains, valleys and the rugged coastline of the Beara Peninsula.

Kids’ Cycle
Adults are not the only ones getting on their bikes on May 25 for the Ring of Beara Cycle. The event also has its very own cycle for children around the town of Kenmare. Not only does this give kids a chance to join in the days’ activities with their parents, but it’s free and a great way for kids to get outdoors and exercise in a fun and safe environment.
Open to any child in national school between third and fifth class and following a 2km route around Kenmare and a slightly shorter route for tinier ones, registration is from 9.15am in Kenmare town square. Parents and guardians are welcome to cycle with their children. All participants should bring and wear a safety helmet for the cycle.
School Cycle Safety Programme
Another community initiative from the Ring of Beara Cycle is the Cycle Right Programme, working with local schools to get kids’ up to speed on road safety and cycle best practices.
The Ring of Beara Cycle is working with Cycle Sense and Wheely Good Cycling Academy to deliver this 4-week programme to local schools in and around Kenmare and the Beara Peninsula.
Some 250 students across 8 schools are participating in this initiative, and the schools involved are: St John’s National School, Realt Na Mara National School , Lauragh National School and Tulloha National School in Kenmare, and on the Beara Peninsula: Scoil Chaitigheirn in Eyeries, Oir Cheann iNational School in Eyeries, Cahermore National School in Allihies, Scoil An Croi Ro Naofa in Castletownbere, Mhichil Naofa in Castletownbere, Adrigole N S in Bantry, and Trafrask Mixed N S in Ardrigole.
This initiative is normally paid for by the schools themselves but is now free for all the children taking part thanks to a generous donation by the Ring of Beara Cycle Committee that covers the cost of delivering the programme to these schools.
Cycle Right is the National Standard for Cycle Training and provides practical cycle safety and skills training through Department of Transport, the Road Safety Authority and Cycling Ireland. The aim of the programme is to promote cycle confidence on the road in increasingly complex scenarios delivered by qualified, registered trainers.
No stranger to giving back to the local community, not only does the Ring of Beara Cycle make a significant, positive impact on the local economy, it also encourages kids to enjoy themselves on their bikes and to do this safely with confidence.

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Browne’s Agri Open Day is a must-attend event

Browne’s Agri Open Day is always one that was marked in  Agri calendars as a ‘must-attend event’. This year’s event is taking place on Wednesday May 22 on their site […]

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Browne’s Agri Open Day is always one that was marked in  Agri calendars as a ‘must-attend event’.

This year’s event is taking place on Wednesday May 22 on their site in Castleisland.

The event was always renowned for getting great advice on the Agri topics of the day as well as a window into modern developments taking place in all aspect of Agriculture and country living.

The extending of the yard area will allow more space to be given over to even more exhibitors, ensuring all areas of agriculture, and rural life will be showcased on the 22.

There will be experts on hand to advise on Calf Rearing, Grassland management, Weed control, Drainage, Fencing , Shed and Yard Layouts as well as bee keeping, and helpful health advice.

“As well as the great advice, you will be ensured of great deals, great food, great craic and free entry to the many spot prizes that will be available on the day,” said general manager Denis O’Connor.

“All that is asked is your attendance and if at all possible, to make a small contribution to our chosen charity Pieta House.”

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