Budget 2012 Minimum Essential Budget Standards Impact Briefing

Issued: December 2011


  • Budget 2012 moves social welfare dependent households further from having an income that meets their minimum essential needs, as the combination of cuts and increased costs pushes low income household types past the tipping-point and deeper into impoverished income inadequacy.
  • Budget 2012 has brought a real reduction in income for social welfare dependent household types, despite the promise of protecting the most vulnerable and not cutting primary social welfare rates. The culmulative effect of cuts to secondary benefits and significant inflation for the cost of essentials deepens the inadequacy of social welfare incomes for many household types.
  • Income will fall short of need by over €5,950 in 2012 for households with two children in urban areas, where one is a teenager of second level age and the second of primary school age, dependent on social welfare (Jobseeker’s or One-Parent Family Payment).
  • Unemployed Single Adults of working age, living alone in an urban area household type, will face an annual shortfall of over €4,350 in 2012, as increased living costs are compounded by a weekly increase of €6 to the Rent Supplement minimum contribution.
  • Social welfare dependent two child households, with younger children (of pre-school and primary school age), will also face an inadequate income in 2012. Households of this type will have an annual income shortfall of approximately €1,000.
  • The annual reduction of €120 to the Fuel Allowance means an urban pensioner, living alone, must contend with greater income inadequacy, as annual income will fall short of minimum needs by over €850.
  • These household types have already passed the tipping-point and exist with inadequate incomes.  In a period of rising living costs any steps which reduce income for those least able to bare it are unjust and perverse.  Such measures cannot serve to foster social justice and an inclusive society.