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Let’s start with some good news; Domiciliary Care Allowance, Respite Care Grant, Carer’s Allowance & Benefit payments remain the same for 2012. So too will the tax reliefs such as Incapacity Child Tax Credit.

If you purchased your home between 2004 – 2008 then mortgage interest supplement will increase but just before you smile, most households will see a €100 property charge.

Some key changes are around the rules for One-Parent Family Payments and Family Income Supplement. Child Benefit for your third and subsequent children will be reduced to €140 per child over a 2-year period. A cut in the cold-weather allowance, Back-to-School Clothing Allowance and the Household Benefit Package will also hit many families.

I can only assume private health insurance will rise again due to extra charges for private treatments in public hospitals. If that’s not bad enough then the Drug Payment Scheme will now cost families €132 per month. This is at a time when it is increasingly difficult to get a medical card. This is going to impact on parents whose children need regular medication.

The usual suspects will also increase; petrol, diesel, motor tax and cigarettes plus many other items when the VAT rate of 21% goes to 23%. However, school books, clothes and groceries have a different VAT rate so you will not see any difference in the price of these items.

Capital Acquisition Tax and Capital Gains Tax will increase to 30%. Parents who have savings will also be hit with an increase in DIRT tax which is now 30%.

In my opinion the biggest impact will be on new claimants of Disability Allowance, claimants will have to be 18 before they can claim (previously 16). On top of this they will only receive €100 a week till they reach the age of 21. People aged 22-24 will now get €144 per week down from €188. Let’s hope the government do a U-turn on this as it will take around €35,000 out of the hands of young adults.

I am a big advocate for planning and with further austerity measures planned then it has never been a better time to update your financial plan. If you have a question on the budget or around a financial issue with your child with special needs, feel free to call me on 021 482 3635. Alternatively, email allan@financialwellbeing.ie or check out www.financialwellbeing.ie