Minister for Finance Paschal Donohue has started to announce the Budget for the coming year.
The overall budget day package is €2.9 billion.
Laois people can expect an increase in fuel, cigarettes and carbon tax while plans are in place for a no-deal Brexit.
Here are the main points of today’s Budget:
An increase of €690 million will be given to the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection.
A €5 increase in living alone allowance.
Increase in qualified child payments by €3 for over-12s and €2 for under 12s.
Fuel allowance will increase by €2 per week.
100 per cent Christmas bonus to all social welfare recipients in 2019.
€15 increase for the One Parent Family Payment income disregard and €10 for the Working Family Payment disregard.
Tax and USC
USC for medical card holders will receive an extension of the reduced rate to the end of December 2020.
For those self employed, earned income credit will increase by €150; from €1350 to €1500.
Home carers will receive credit of €100 bringing the total value of credit to €1600.
Capital acquisitions tax: Tax-free threshold which broadly applies to transfers between parents and their children from €320,000 to €335,000.
Inheritance tax threshold will increase from €320,000 to €335,000.
€80 million for Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) was announced.
The Help-to-Buy Scheme has been extended to the end of 2021.
The rate of stamp duty applicable to non-residential property transactions will increase by 1.5 per cent to 7.5 per cent from midnight tonight.
An extra €20 million has been allocated for homeless services bringing total funding to €166 million to support those in emergency accommodation, increase preventative measures, long-term support and day services.
Social housing receives €1.1 billion to deliver over 11,000 new social homes in 2020.
A further 12,000 units will be delivered in 2021.
An additional €2 million will go to the Residential Tenancies Board.
Health spending is up to €17.4 billion – 1 billion more than last year.
– Free GP care for children under eight and free dental care for children under six.
– One million additional home care hours are to be provided next year.
– Prescription charges for all are to be cut by 50 cent.
– Monthly threshold for the Drug Payment Scheme is being reduced by €10 per month.
– Increase in medical card income thresholds for people over 70 by €50 for a single person or €150 for a couple per week.
The Department of Children receive €94 million.
An increase to Tusla of over €29 million will support the continued reduction in the amount of children in need of a social workers.
The Department of Education will receive over €11 billion in 2020 – an increase of nearly €2 billion since 2016.
There will be an investment of €1.9 billion in special education and over 150 new mainstream teaching posts.
This will provide over 400 additional teaching posts to support those with special educational needs and for the hiring of over 1,000 additional Special Needs Assistants.
Higher and further education receive a 0.1 per cent increase in National Training Fund levy. This enables a further €74 million investment in 2020.
An additional €60 million funding is set to provide an estimated 3,000 additional places in identified priority skills areas and drive continued reform and innovation of our higher education system.
An additional €51 million will be given to the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.
the Department of Rural and Community Development will receive €17 million.
€3 million will be given to new agri-environmental schemes in 2020 to help to reduce emissions from the sector.
The farm restructuring relief programme is extended to the end of 2022 with no change to the conditions of the relief.
Carbon tax increased by €6 to €26 per tonne and applies from midnight tonight on auto fuels.
Carbon tax changes to other fuels will come into effect in May 2020.
The 1 per cent diesel surcharge introduced last year will be replaced with a nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions-based charge – applies to all passenger cars registering for the first time in the State from January 1st, 2020.
VRT relief for hybrid vehicles extended to 2020.
Benefit in Kind zero rate on electric vehicles extended to 2020.
The Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment receives €8 million to maintain grants for those buying electric cars.
Warmer Homes scheme is given €13 million to provide free energy efficiency upgrades to households deemed to be in or at risk of energy poverty.
Extra €5 million for peatland rehabilitation.
Gardaí and Defence
81 million extra for Gardaí to recruit 700 new staff as well as civilian staff.
Over €32 million in additional funding allocated to the Defence Vote Group.
A Brexit package of €1.2 billion has been announced.
In the event of a no-deal, the following measures will be executed:
– €220 million will be executed immediately.
– €650 million has been allocated for agriculture, enterprise and tourism sectors to assist the most affected citizens and regions in a no-deal scenario.
– €85 million has been allocated for beef farmers.
– €14 million for the fishing industry and €6 million for livestock and mushroom industry.
– €5 million has been allocated for food and drinks processing industry in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
– €365 million will be provided for extra Social Protection expenditure benefit in the event of a no-deal Brexit while
– €45 million has been announced to assist people to transition to new work.
The Department of Business will receive nearly €1 billion.
€10 million of this will go towards the Disruptive Technologies Innovation fund.
No change to the Capital Gains Tax Entrepreneurial Relief.
Tourism and Transport
€2.7 billion would be allocated to the Department of Transport Tourism and Sport in 2020 – an increase of €384 million from 2019.
€40 million is given for tourism specific initiatives plus extra support in event of no-deal Brexit.
50c extra put on packet of 20 cigarettes from midnight. There will be a pro-rata increase on other tobacco products.
An increase of €21 million in Ireland’s overseas development assistance. Ireland will provide €837 million next year to be invested in less developed countries.
Rainy day fund
1.5 billion to the Government’s rainy day fund.
A relief from betting duty and betting intermediary duty up to a limit of €50,000 per calendar year has been introduced and is subject to the conditions laid down in State Aid regulations.