ibusinesslines.com March 23, 2018

The key points from today's budget and how it will affect you

10 October 2017, 07:02 | Melissa Porter

Fianna Fáil launched its budget submission today

Fianna Fáil launched its budget submission today

By increasing the relatively low threshold at which people hit the higher rate of income tax and trimming the amount they actually pay, Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said an average family would be a "modest" 500 to 600 euros better off a year.

One of the first major announcements from Mr Donohoe confirmed plans for the so-called "rainy day" fund to protect against future economic downturns.

Efforts to tackle the homeless crisis could see developers offered cheap loans and a new housing agency set up to take over NAMA owned lands.

HAPS scheme getting additional € 149 million to support an additional 17,000 households in 2018.

A new entity, Home Building Finance Ireland (HBFI), will be created with €750 million from the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund being allocated for commercial investment in housing through this.

But Donohoe focussed much of his speech on housing as the government scrambles to boost a chronic under-supply across the country, including a significant increase in a planned levy on vacant sites that owners fail to build on.

The Minister wants an increase in the Value-Added Tax rate for sunbeds, as a health protection measure.

Funding has also been announced for an extra 1,800 frontline staff.

However Donohoe also announced a €200 increase in the Earned Income Credit which will benefit 147,000 self-employed people in Ireland.

As expected, a sugar tax has been introduced in this year's budget meaning fizzy drinks etc will be affected.

The prescription charge is to be reduced from €2.50 to €2.00 per item.

In Education, €10bn is being spent on services, a move which is anticipated to bring the teacher-pupil ratio down to 26:1.

1,000 extra special needs teachers will have been employed by Sept 2018, bringing the total to 15,000.

-Additional 800 Gardai to be recruited next year.

An additional 500 civilians are also to be hired into the force.

Budget 2018 will be delivered in the Dail this afternoon.

The VAT rate on tourism & services sector WILL NOT change.

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