I propose to take Questions Nos. 33 and 271 to 273, inclusive, together.
Consistent with the programme for Government, it is not the intention to increase the value of income tax credits or bands in budget 2021. I note, however, that the Deputy raised three separate but related issues regarding important measures in the tax code that support caring for people in vulnerable circumstances.
Regarding the suggestion to extend eligibility for the home carer tax credit to include single workers, this credit was introduced in Finance Act 2000 specifically in the context of a planned move to full individualisation of the income tax system to ensure a balance was maintained for married one-income families where one spouse works primarily in the home caring for children, the aged or incapacitated persons. The home carer tax credit is, therefore, available only to jointly assessed couples in a marriage or civil partnership and not to single persons, as the issues the credit sought to address do not arise in their circumstances. Instead, the single person child carer credit of €1,650 and an increased rate band of €4,000 are available to single parents with caring responsibilities for a dependent child who is under the age of 18 or, if over 18, is an incapacitated child who satisfies the incapacitated child tax credit criteria.
As for the question of claiming tax relief on the cost of employing a care worker while also claiming the dependent relative or incapacitated child tax credit, there is no restriction on this and the tax relief is available at the individual’s marginal rate of tax.
I will outline further information in my follow-up response.