The 2021 Budget Estimate for the Rural Social Scheme is €52.2m. While this represents a reduction of €1.9m on the 2020 Revised Estimate, it is in line with the 2020 emerging outturn which is now estimated to be of the order of €52.3m.
The Rural Social Scheme is paid on a Thursday and there are 53 Thursdays in 2020. As there will be 52 Thursdays in 2021, this will result in expenditure in 2021 being some €0.85m lower than that in 2020.
In 2020, the scheme is expected to have an average of 3,160 participants. The 2021 estimate is providing for a similar number of participants in 2021, having regard to the expected demand for the scheme.