A number of key income tax and social welfare changes that will assist and support Kildare residents took effect this week according to Fine Gael Kildare South TD and Minister of State Martin Heydon.

Minister Heydon said, “Fine Gael in Government is supporting average and middle-income earners to meet the rising cost of living through income tax changes. The tax package announced by Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe in October as part of Budget 2022 will benefit everyone who pays income tax and came into effect this week on Jan 1st.

“These are tangible changes that everyone will feel the benefit of in their pocket throughout 2022. The standard rate band for all earners will rise from €35,300 to €36,800 for single earners, from €39,300 to €40,800 for one-parent families; and from €44,300 to €45,800 for couples. There is also a €50 increase in each of the main tax credits – personal tax credit, employee tax credit and the earned income credit.

“There is also a change to the Universal Social Charge- the 2% rate band ceiling will increase in line with the increase in the national minimum wage from €10.20 to €10.50 per hour. This was the eighth increase in the minimum wage under Fine Gael in Government and we wanted to ensure that full-time workers benefiting from the increase will remain outside the top rate of USC.

“As well as the tax changes, Fine Gael also prioritised spending measures in Budget 2022 to help combat the cost of living and add to our quality of life. County Kildare carers, pensioners, widows, widowers, lone parents, people with disabilities and people on jobseekers’ payments are set to benefit from new increases in their social welfare payments as announced in Budget 2022.

“Normally social welfare increases announced in the Budget take effect later in the year, but for 2022 they are commencing this week, which is good news for all social welfare recipients in County Kildare.

“Pensioners are set to receive a €5 increase in the State Pension, the first time the rate of payment for pensioners has increased since March 2019.  The Living Alone Allowance is rising to €22 per week, the third year in a row of increases to this payment. As recently as 2019 this payment stood at just €9.

“Fine Gael is committed to tackling the rising cost of living and the tax changes coming into effect this week will be felt by individual earners and families in County.”