Is Budget 2024 more generous than its preceding budgets?
In this article we will look at four representative examples and compare the improvements given in Budget 2024 with those in last year’s budget and the ones in the preceding legislature.
|Legislature 2017-2022 (average)||Budget 2023||Budget 2024|
|Pensioner couple on minimum pension||€730||€1,110||€1,208|
|Pensioner couple on maximum pension||€660||€970||€1,313|
|Working couple on minimum wage||€695||€1,310||€4,187|
|Working couple on average wage||€905||€1,520||€2,934|
Ġorġ and Maria
An elderly couple (80 and 75) dependent on one minimum pension and suffering from chronic diseases. They get the Senior Citizens grant as they still reside in their own home. They are also entitled to the Energy Benefit, amongst other benefits.
In total, in the past legislature, this couple had seen an improvement in their income of €3,654, or an average annual increase of around €730.
Thanks to the 2023 budget this couple, because of the pension increase, improvements in sickness benefits, and the additional cost of living mechanism, saw an improvement of almost €1,110.
In the 2024 budget, this couple will see an increase in their pension of €15 per week, an increase of €50 in the Senior Citizens grant and €378 from the additional COLA benefit. This implies a total improvement of €1,208. This is 9% higher than last year, and 165% more than the average of the previous legislature.
Mario and Josephine
An elderly couple (both aged 70) dependent on one maximum pension and on the bonus for those without enough contributions to get a pension. They also stay at home and get the Senior Citizens grant.
In total, in the past legislature, this couple saw an improvement in their income of €3,294, or an average increase of €660 per year.
Thanks to the 2023 budget this couple saw an increase in pension, an adjustment in its cost-of-living bonus, an increase in the bonus for those without a pension and the additional cost of living benefit. All together they had an improvement of almost €970.
In the 2024 budget this couple will see an increase in their pension of €19 per week and an increase of €50 in the Senior Citizens grant and a payment of €275 from the additional COLA mechanism. The sum of all these improvements is €1,313. This is a third more than last year, and almost twice the average increase awarded during the previous legislature.
Mark and Ritienne
A young couple both on the minimum wage and on the rent subsidy. They have two children, one at childcare and the other is still in secondary school.
In total, in the past legislature, this family saw an improvement in their income of €3,482, or an increase of around €695 per year.
Thanks to the 2023 budget this couple had a pay rise due to cola, got the tax refund, benefitted from the additional cost of living mechanism, and an improvement in the children’s allowance. All together this constituted an improvement of €1,310.
As a result of Budget 2024, this couple will see an increase in the minimum wage of €21 per week, get the tax refund again, while befitting from an improvement of €500 in the children’s allowance, €100 more in in-work benefit, and €403 from the additional COLA mechanism. Their rent subsidy will rise by €1,000. Thus, the couple will see an overall improvement of €4,187. This is three times the rise observed a year ago, and six times the average observed during the previous legislature.
John and Lucy
A middle-class couple, with two children, one in a private school and the other starting sixth form.
In total, over the past legislature, this family saw an improvement in their income of €4,528, or an increase of around €905 per year.
Thanks to the 2023 budget this couple saw an increase in the children’s allowance and an increase in tax credits for extracurricular activities. This led to an improvement of almost €1,520 in their income.
In the 2024 budget this couple will see a pay rise, an increase of €250 in the children’s allowance and will start benefiting from the special allowance of €500 for those with children who continue with post-secondary studies. Altogether, this adds up to an improvement of €2,934, which is almost twice the increase granted a year ago and three times the average rise granted over the previous legislature.
These examples show that Budget 2024 not only leads to improvements across a wide spectrum of the population, but will improve incomes by much more than previous budgets of the last few years.
Photo credit: Vidal Balielo Jr