What's New

School Transport Scheme – application closing date

The closing date for school transport applications for both primary and post-primary schools is Friday, 26 April, 2019.

If you are applying for the transport scheme for the first time, you can apply online on buseireann.ie.

If your child is eligible for school transport and is using it already, you do not need to apply again. Bus Éireann will contact you about transport for the next school year.

For enquiries about timetables, pick-up points, routes and applications for transport grants you should contact your local Bus Éireann school transport office.

You can read more on citizensinformation.ie about the primary school transport scheme and the post-primary school transport scheme.

Property alert service

The Property Registration Authority has set up a property alert service to let property owners monitor their registered properties for fraudulent activity. Property fraud could involve someone pretending to be you, and trying to sell or mortgage your property without you knowing.

If you sign up to the property alert service, you will get an email or text if someone lodges an application relating to your property with the PRA. If the activity is fraudulent you can take action if necessary. The property must be registered with the Land Registry but you do not have to be the owner of the property.

To find out more, visit prai.ie and to sign up for the service, visit landdirect.ie.

Brexit information and supports

The Government has published practical advice to help businesses and citizens around the country prepare for Brexit on gov.ie.

This includes advice and information for businesses and individuals on Brexit and Business and Brexit and You.

@BrexitReadyIRL is the main Government Twitter account for Brexit news. You can also sign up for regular updates on Brexit at dfa.ie.

Information on what Brexit means for citizens is also available here on citizensinformation.ie including:

Increases in social welfare payments

Social welfare rates are due to increase from this week. The payments and dates of change are set out in the table below. The relevant documents will be updated on citizensinformation.ie on the date the changes take effect.

You can read a summary of the changes on welfare.ie.

Payment Date of change
Jobseeker’s Allowance  
Farm Assist

20 March 2019
Jobseeker’s Benefit 21 March 2019
Illness Benefit
Injury Benefit
Maternity/Adoptive Benefit
Paternity Benefit
Health and Safety Benefit
Supplementary Welfare Allowance
25 March 2019
Disability Allowance 27 March 2019
Invalidity Pension
Deserted Wife’s Benefit
Deserted Wife’s Allowance
One Parent Family Payment (other than a widow/er)
Jobseeker’s Transitional Payment
Carer’s Allowance
Carer’s Benefit
Working Family Payment
28 March 2019
Disablement Pension
Disablement Gratuity
Death Benefit Pension (under the OIB scheme)
State Pension (Contributory)
Widow/er’s (Contributory) Pension

Guardian’s Payment (Contributory)
State Pension (Non-Contributory)
Blind Person’s Pension
Widow/er’s (Non-Contributory) Pension
One-Parent Family Payment (in the case of a widow/er)


29 March 2019

Modernisation of the electoral registration process

The Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government has launched a public consultation on proposals regarding modernisation of the electoral registration process.

Proposals for modernisation of the register include:

  • Simplification of forms and process
  • A rolling register or continuous registration
  • Optional online registration and secure self-service
  • Moving to individual registration only
  • Enabling a single national register database with unique identifiers
  • Moving to verified identity using PPS numbers
  • Data sharing to maintain accuracy and comprehensiveness

You can visit housing.gov.ie to find out more and make a submission on the proposals. The deadline for submissions is Friday 15 March 2019.

Brexit Omnibus Bill

The Government published the Withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union (Consequential Provisions) Bill 2019 (pdf) on 22 February 2019.

The legislation aims to prepare Ireland for a disorderly Brexit (also called a “no-deal Brexit”). The Bill is made up of 15 parts and crosses the remit of 9 Government ministers. It is expected that the Bill will be ready for commencement by 29 March 2019 and each part will be commenced by the individual minister at the appropriate time.

However, many of the provisions in the Bill will only be necessary if the UK leaves the EU on 29 March 2019 under a no-deal scenario.

You can read a summary of the Bill in the Explanatory Memorandum (pdf). 

 

Unplanned pregnancy – supports available

If you have an unplanned pregnancy, there are free confidential counselling and information services to help you consider your options and access services and supports.

My Options is a freephone helpline that provides counselling over the phone. It is provided by the Health Service Executive (HSE). If you would like face-to-face counselling, My Options can tell you where to get it for free.

My Options provides information and support on all your options if you have an unplanned pregnancy, including information on a range of continued pregnancy supports and on abortion services.

It can give you information about when you can get an abortion and where that service is available. You can also access post-abortion counselling and support from My Options, free of charge.

You can call the My Options helpline on Freephone 1800 828 010 or visit the website, myoptions.ie, for more information.

Tax statements replacing P45s and P60s

Question

What is replacing P45 and P60 statements?

Answer

Since 1 January 2019, P45s and P60s have been abolished and replaced with an online system as part of PAYE modernisation. You will no longer get a P45 if you leave your job. Instead, your employer must now send this information electronically to Revenue. The P60 certificate will be replaced by an end of year statement.

Your 2018 P60 is the last P60 that you will get from your employer. Your end of year statement for 2019 will be available after 31 December 2019 through Revenue’s myAccount service. An end of year statement includes details of all your pay and the income tax, USC and PRSI deducted by your employer during the year. It also records your Local Property Tax (LPT) deductions (if you choose to have the LPT deducted from your pay).

Buying goods online

Question

I have ordered a few presents online. Can I return them if I change my mind when I get them?

Answer

If you bought your goods from a business based in the EU, they are covered by the EU Directive on Consumer Rights. Under this Directive, you are entitled to a cooling-off period of 14 days. During the cooling-off period, you can cancel distance contracts such as online purchases without giving a reason and without incurring charges or penalties, other than possible charges for returning the goods. The 14-day cooling-off period begins on the day that you receive the goods.

The distance seller must repay you for the goods including delivery costs within 14 days of cancellation,. If you chose a more expensive type of delivery than the seller’s cheapest standard delivery, you are only entitled to be refunded the cost of the cheaper delivery type. The seller can withhold the repayment until the goods are returned or until you supply evidence that you have sent the goods back.

You must send the goods back within 14 days of informing the seller of the cancellation. You may have to pay for the cost of returning them. The seller must have informed you of these costs before you completed the purchase.

The seller should also have given you confirmation of the contract, as well as information on aftersales and guarantees, how to cancel the contract and a postal address for complaints. If the seller did not provide you with information on your right to cancel, the cooling-off period can be extended by 12 months.

Some purchases are not covered by the cooling-off period. These include customised or perishable goods and bookings for transport or accommodation.

If you bought your goods from a business based outside the EU, they are not covered under the EU Directive. For these goods, you should check the terms and conditions on the website of the business you bought them from.