MHR’s Snapshot Analysis of Budget 2014

While the Government’s announcement of €20 million to further develop community mental health services indicates a continued commitment to A Vision for Change, significant cuts may still be required from mental health services that could offset the ring-fenced funding.  People with long-term mental health conditions will also be hit by a number of measures that will reduce their income, such as the increase in the prescription charge, increase in the number of days a person must wait before receiving illness benefit and discontinuation of the telephone allowance.


  • HSE on-going expenditure is down 2.5% in 2014, from €13.393 billion to €13.052 billion, with total savings measures required of €666 million
  • If the overall savings figure is applied to the mental health budget, the savings of 2.5% would equate to approximately €18 million
  • €20 million ring-fenced for the further development of community mental health services, in particular for
    • Adult community mental health teams
    • Child and adolescent mental health teams
    • Specialist community mental health teams
    • Additional Resource Officers and initiatives for suicide prevention
  • €37 million allocated to fund free GP care for all children under age 5
  • Increase in prescription charges from €1.50 to €2.50 per item, with the monthly cap increased by 28% to €25
  • Increase in medical card threshold for people over age 70
  • Replacement of retention of medical card on return to work to GP visit only card for long-term unemployed

Social Protection:

  • No change to basic social welfare payments
  • Increase in the number of waiting days for entitlement to illness benefit from 3 to 6 days, from January 2014
  • Discontinuation of the telephone allowance for all recipients, from January 2014
  • Increase in the rent contribution required of couples on rent supplement by €5
  • No sign that the Department took on board MHR’s recommendation on extending the Supported Employment programme to all people with a mental health disability who want to work

Children and Youth Affairs

  • Construction of new Children Detention School Facilities in Oberstown, with a time-frame that all children and adolescents under age 18 will be transferred to Oberstown by the third quarter of 2014


  • No sign that the Department took on board MHR’s recommendation on providing a funding stream for tenancy sustainment support
  • Some funding for additional social housing for people with disabilities, but it is unclear whether this will include individuals transitioning from HSE mental health service accommodation into the community

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