All social welfare weekly payments will increase this week benefiting an estimated 1.3 million pensioners, people with disabilities, carers, lone parents and jobseekers.

Making the announcement Minister Heather Humphreys said the increases, delivered under Budget 2022, will cost an estimated €450.6 million.

The maximum weekly rate of all pensions payments is increasing by €5 per week.

The Living Alone Allowance is increasing for the third year in a row and will be paid at €22 per week.

The rate of payment in respect of a qualified child up to the age of 12 is increasing by €2 per week while the rate of payment is increasing by €3 for children aged 12 years and over.

For households in receipt of two primary payments, such as a contributory pension, the increase will be at least €10.

Minister Humphreys also announced an expansion of the Hot School Meals Programme which will benefit an additional 16,000 pupils.This will come into effect when schools re-open later this month

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