The Increase for Living on a Specified Island - or Island Allowance - is an increase in the weekly rate of certain social welfare payments for recipients who are aged 66 or over and are ordinarily resident on an island off the coast of Ireland. It is also paid to recipients aged under 66 on certain schemes. The objective of the scheme is to compensate for the additional costs of living on these specified islands when compared to people resident on the mainland.
As part of the Budget 2021 package, the allowance was increased by €7.30, from €12.70 to €20 per week. This was the first increase to the allowance since the payment was introduced in 2000 and was the basis on which the decision to increase the allowance was made. As Minister with responsibility for the islands, I was acutely aware of the additional costs associated with living offshore.
Based on the current number of recipients, it is estimated that the increase will cost €0.23 million this year.