Budget 2016: Main points

We have the main points of the Budget from the Dáil and from the press briefings giving more detail on Budget 2016.

Tax cuts, welfare increases, a new childcare package and a freezing of the local property tax are among the main components of Budget 2016.

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Here are the headline changes in today's Budget:

* The top rate of USC will go from 7% to 5.5%, the middle will fall from 3.5% to 3% and the lower rate will stand down from 1.5% to 1%.

* Children will be eligible for free childcare from age of 3 until the age of five-and-a-half or until they start school.

* Two weeks’ paid paternity leave, from September 2016.

* Child benefit will rise by €5

* Free GP care for under 12s

* A €3 rise in pensions

* Christmas bonus up by 75% for social welfare recipients

* An extra 600 Gardaí and 2,260 teachers

* Commercial motor tax rates to be cut with 20 rates being replaced by five ranging from €92 to €900, current maximum is €5,195.

* A 50c rise in the minimum wage from €8.65 to €9.15 per hour.

* The 9% VAT rate on the Hospitality Sector will be maintained.

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Budget 2016: Main points

Here are the rest of the measures announced in today's Budget.

Update 8.15pm An extra 2,200 teachers will take up the bulk of an extra €144m available in 2016 to Education Minister Jan O'Sullivan.

Almost two-thirds of the 2,260 extra teachers - around 1,400 just like this year - are to meet enrolment increases at primary and second levels.

They include 600 extra resource teachers to cater for more children with disabilities.

Children will also be able to enrol in pre-school at three different times in the year – September, January and April.

Update 7.41pm The Ministers for Finance and Public Expenditure have finished their budget press conference.

Update 7.40pm Howlin: "There is a robust budget for Health for next year, the very significant increase in its budget which includes the free GP care, is included.

"Health is always going to be a challenge. Every single developed country has a problem managing expenditure on their health budget."

Update 7.35pm Howlin: "There is no difference between the parties on wanting to deal with rent certainties, but both parties differ over how to do it.

"The solution has to be to use all available mechanisms to tackle this."

Update 7.33pm Howlin: "There is €130m to deal with the A&E issues.

"Irish Water is on balance sheet and it is fully accounted for on the balance sheet."

Update 7.30pm Noonan: "The Taoiseach closed the window on a November election. You can be absolutely certain that there will be no election before Christmas."

Update 7.26pm Howlin: "We expect €600m in supplementary estimates for Health."

Update 7.23pm Noonan: "I believe the banks still owe the Irish taxpayer. I am not saying that the bank levy will fund the National Childrens' Hospital, but it could fund something like it.

"We will continue to collect €150m a year from the banks until 2020."

Update 7.21pm Noonan: "We are going to have the only Knowledge Development Box that complies with the new rules in the EU."

Update 7.17pm Ministers Noonan and Howlin holding their Budget press conference.

Update 6.29pm Varadkar: "We do have a memorandum of understanding with the IMO as to how the free GP care for under 12s will be implemented."

Update 6.27pm Lynch: "The Government's commitment in relation to mental health is €35m a year for every year it is in government."

Update 6.25pm Lynch: "In mental health we need around 1,400 staff. We will be concentrating on speech and language therapists and occupational therapists."

Update 6.22pm Varadkar: "We are not giving a figure on extra nurses and staff. We have 580 nursing vacancies at the moment and we would be keen to have them filled."

Update 6.19pm Lynch :"Negotiations on free GP care for under 12s will not include the National Associatoin of General Practitioners."

Update 6.17pm Varadkar: "I've absolutely no doubt that the IMO will drive a hard bargain over free GP care for under 12s."

Budget 2016: Main points

Update 6.15pm Lynch: "Approximately 200,000 children will benefit from free GP care for under 12s."

Budget 2016: Main points

Update 6.10pm Minister Lynch: "Pressure on availability of beds in hospitals will be huge."

Update 6.03pm Minister Kathleen Lynch says scope for new health programmes in 2016 is "modest".

Update 6.01pm Minister Varadkar says the free GP care for children under 12 is subject to negotiations with the Irish Medical Organisation.

Update 5.59pm The extra €880m in the Health budget will provide mainly for the free GP care for under 5s, the extra staff and around €100m in extra pay under the Lansdowne Road Agreement, among other things.

Update 5.55pm Leo Varadkar has started his budget press conference for the Department of Health.

Update 5.51pm Department of the Environment has allocated €40m for the Leader programme.

Update 5.48pm €10m is being made available for a new Affordable Rental (pilot) scheme.

€30m in funding is being made available over six years under the new Village Renewal Scheme, €5m for 2016

Update 5.41pm Department of the Environment also says funding for libraries has been increased by 83% for 2016.

Update 5.41pm Paudie Coffey of the Department of the Environment has announced an increase in funding for traveller accommodation for 2016.

There will also be €19m made available under the Pyrite Remediation Scheme for 2016.

Update 5.39pm The Department of the Environment has announced that 3,100 houses will be acquired and refurbished in 2016.

Update 5.38pm Mr Kelly also says his department will increase its spending on homelessness by 32% to €70m.

There will also be an increase of €7m to €17m for the Mortgage to Rent scheme.

Update 5.36pm Alan Kelly has said more than 17,000 housing units will be delivered in 2016

Update 5.32pm Health Department announces funding for more Community First Responder teams and more paramedics, especially in rural areas.

There will be no increase in hospital fees or prescription charges in 2016, and the threshold for the Drugs Payment Scheme, for medical cards and GP visit cards remains unchanged.

Update 5.29pm The Department of Health says there is a rise in their budget of almost €900m compared to last year's Budget.

Update 5.26pm €25m allocated for the National Sports Campus.

Update 5.23pm Minister Ring says €126m will be allocated to sport, an increase of 40%.

Update 5.22pm The freeze of 9% VAT rate on Tourism Sector will come under review in the future depending on market conditions.

Funding for Regional Airports programme will increase to €12.6m.

Update 5.20pm A €43m reduction in motor tax for HGVs, is an interim measure ahead of a new motor tax regime.

Update 5.18pm An extra allocation of €28m for increased public transport services including those operated under rural transport programme.

Update 5.16pm €1.74bn budget for Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport.

Update 5.13pm Alan Kelly is up next for his budget press conference on behalf of the Department of the Environment. Also up is Paschal Donohoe and Michael Ring with their budget press conference on behalf of the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport.

Update 5.06pm Minister Bruton's budget press conference has finished and Junior Minister Gerald Nash has signed the Order to increase the minimum wage to €9.15 per hour from 1 Jan, 2016.

Update 5.05pm Minister Bruton says tax relief for start-up companies will be extended for further three years.

Defence Minister Simon Coveney says out of the total budget for Defence of €904m, €680m will be provided for Defence and €224m for army pensions.

Update 4.58pm Education Minister says the allocation for apprenticeships from within the National Training Fund is being increased by more than €10m.

Update 4.58pm Minister Bruton introduces Knowledge Development Box to provide competitive rate of 6.25% on patentable inventions from Jan 2016.

Education Minister announces a minor works grant in 2016 and a new €80m two-year summer works programme for schools.

Update 4.53pm Jan O'Sullivan has announced an extra 2,260 extra teachers at primary and post-primary level: 300 will be at primary schools; 550 to enhance guidance counselling at post-primary level; 810 mainstream teachers to address demographic demands and 600 resource teachers.

She has also announced a €5m rise in funding for the school book rental scheme.

Update 4.52pm Minister Bruton: "The budget focus is on three key things: supporting enterprise and innovation, making work pay and investing in infrastructure."

Update 4.50pm Minister Bruton: "A low rate of CGT will apply for low rate of disposals up to €1m"

Update 4.46pm Also holding their budget press conference is Richard Bruton for the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation.

Update 4.40pm Up next is the Minister for Education, Jan O'Sullivan, with her budget press conference.

Update 4.30pm Minister Burton has ended her budget press conference.

Update 4.29pm Minister Coveney says the retention and extension of key relief measures is part of a very strong budget package for forestry.

Update 4.26pm Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney has announced new tax credits to encourage inter-generational family partnerships at his budget press conference.

Justice Minister announces additional funding of €1.3m to recruit additional staff for Forensic Science Ireland.

Update 4.23pm There is also a press conference by the Justice Minister, Francis Fitzgerald, who has announced €2.7m for the establishment of the Independent Policing Authority.

She has also announced funding of €25m for the Irish Refugee Protection Programme and additional funding of €1.6m has been allocated to the Legal Aid Board.

Update 4.22pm People on Community Employment, Rural Social Scheme, Tús, Gateway and similar schemes will receive a top-up payment of €2.50 per week towards meals and travel costs.

Update 4.19pm Lone parent families who went from One Parent Family Payment to Jobseeker’s Transitional Payment will be able to retain more income from employment under changes to the latter scheme.

The income disregard is being increased from €60 to €90 with effect from January. In addition, all earnings above €90 will be assessed at 50% rather than the existing 60%.

Update 4.18pm Respite Care Grant will be increased by €325 to €1,700 next year. Carers who are in receipt of Carer’s Allowance will continue to receive their payment for an additional six weeks subsequent to the death of the loved one for whom they are caring. This will bring the total grace period from six weeks to 12 weeks.

Update 4.16pm A new tapered PRSI Credit for Class A employees earning between €352.01 and €424 a week will reduce the weekly PRSI bill for over 88,000 employees.

The lower 8.5% Class A rate of employer PRSI is being extended from January to weekly earning up to €376 (up from €356) and will benefit over 26,000 employers.

Update 4.14pm The new Paternity Benefit of 2 weeks’ leave will apply from September 2016. This will be paid at €230 per week, based on the same PRSI contributions as required for Maternity Benefit.

Update 4.12pm From January, 2016 people aged 66 and over who are getting a State Pension, Widow’s Pension, Widower’s Pension, Surviving Civil Partner’s Pension or a Carer’s Allowance will receive an increase of €3 on their payment every week. Those claiming for dependent spouses/partners will receive an extra €2.70 and €2 a week where the dependant is aged 66 or over or under 66 respectively.

Update 4.10pm Ms Burton: "More than €250m in Social Protection measures in Budget 2016."

Update 4.10pm The Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton, has started her budget speech.

Update 3.45pm Mr Howlin has finished his Budget speech.

Update 3.44pm Mr Howlin to the Dáil: "Who speaks of Syriza now?"

Update 3.40pm Mr Howlin: "The spending increases announced today are moderate, sensible and commensurate with our economic requirements."

Update 3.39pm €1.3bn is being allocated to the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine

Update 3.37pm €903m allocated to Dept of Defence. €2m has been made available to put the Emergency Aeromedical Service on a permanent footing and €640m for Official Development Assistance.

Budget of €640m in 2016 for official development assistance such as fighting global hunger and poverty.

Update 3.36pm Mr Howlin announces plans to train an extra 600 Gardaí in 2016.

Update 3.35pm €50m has been provided for an extensive range of events and initiatives under the Government's Commemorations Programme for 1916 Rising events.

Update 3.34pm The current allocation for emergency accommodation for homeless people is increasing by an additional €17m.

Budget 2016: Main points

Update 3.33pm Mr Howlin announces an extra €69m for social housing bringing the total funding to €414m. He says this will enable local authorities to secure accommodation for additional 14,000 households.

Update 3.31pm Mr Howlin says it is planned, in 2016 to extend GP care without fees to all children under 12.

He says funding is being made available to provide therapeutic services for children, particularly speech and language therapy.

Update 3.29pm Christmas bonus increase by 75% for those in receipt of social welfare.

Threshold for Family Income Supplement to increase by €10 per week for families with two or more children.

The Govt is increasing the threshold for Family Income Supplement by €5 per week for families with one child.

Update 3.28pm Fuel allowance to increase by €2.50 to €22.50 per week

The value of the Respite Care Grant is being restored to €1,700

All pension payments will rise by €3 per week in 2016.

Budget 2016: Main points

Update 3.26pm In 2016, child benefit will increase by €5 to €140 per month.

Mr Howlin also announced 2,260 new additional teaching posts provided for in 2016, including 600 new resource teachers.

At primary level, pupil teacher ratio will reduce from 28 to 1 to 27 to 1.

At second level, pupil teacher ratio will reduce from 19 to 1 to 18.7 to 1

€3 million is being provided to develop after school services in school buildings

Update 3.24pm The Government is to introduce two weeks’ paternity leave

Update 3.23pm Over €15m allocated to facilitate full participation of children with disabilities into this scheme.

Update 3.23pm Children will be eligible for free childcare from age of 3 until the age of five-and-a-half or until they start school.

Budget 2016: Main points

Update 3.22pm Current expenditure allocation to the Dept. Children & Youth Affairs increasing to over €1.1bn.

Update 3.19pm Mr Howlin: "As economic growth returns, it is only right that our nurses, our Gardaí and teachers see their take home pay improve."

Update 3.15pm The minimum wage is to increase by 50c, from €8.65 to €9.15 per hour. This will take effect from January 1, 2016.

Update 3.11pm Mr Howlin: "The days of spending cuts are behind us."

Update 3.10pm Mr Noonan has sat down and Brendan Howlin has started his budget speech.

Update 3.09pm Mr Noonan: "We will defend our 12.5% Corporate Tax Rate."

Update 3.06pm Nama to deliver 20,000 residential units before the end of 2020, 90% in the greater Dublin area. This will require €4.5bn funding.

Update 3.02pm Income that qualifies for the "Knowledge Development Box" will be subject to a reduced rate of corporation tax of 6.25%.

The film tax credit cap on eligible expenditure will rise to €70m.

Update 3.01pm Commercial motor tax rates to be cut with 20 rates being replaced by five ranging from €92 to €900, current maximum is €5,195.

Update 2.59pm Cuts in charges to businesses who accept debit card payments, saving these businesses €36m a year. Mr Noonan warns this must be passed onto consumers in lower prices.

5% stamp duty on debit and ATM cards to go and be replaced with a 12 cent per ATM transaction fee (to encourage more payments by card)

Budget 2016: Main points

Update 2.58pm Bank levy to be extended to 2021 to bring an extra €750m to Exchequer.

Update 2.58pm New Earned Income Tax Credit to the value of €550 for self-employed with no access to PAYE credit, to be increased further in future budgets if resources permit

Update 2.57pm Michael Noonan is to maintain the 9% VAT rate in the Tourism Sector.

Update 2.56pm Remaining 0.15% pension fund levy will end this year and will not be applied in 2016.

Also, postponing the local property tax revaluation date from 2016 to 2019

Update 2.54pm Reduced Capital Gains Tax rate of 20% will apply to the disposal in whole or part of a business up to an overall limit of €1m in chargeable gains.

Update 2.53pm Mr Noonan: "I am introducing Earned Income Tax Credit to the value of €550 for those with earned income who do not have access to the PAYE credit."

Update 2.48pm Increasing entry point to the PRSI top rate of 10.75% by €20 per week to €376 a week.

Update 2.46pm Noonan: "I have decided to increase the CAT tax-free threshold, between parents and their children, from €225,000 to €280,000."

Update 2.46pm Home Carer Tax Credit will rise by €190 to bring it up to €1,000 per year

Update 2.44pm Tapered PRSI tax credit for low paid workers to counter any change to tax on earning more.

Update 2.43pm Michael Noonan has cut USC rates, the top rate will go from 7% to 5.5%, the middle will fall from 3.5% to 3% and the lower rate will stand down from 1.5% to 1%.

Reducing marginal rate to 49.5% for all earners under €70,044. (First time below 50% for middle income earners since April 2009 Budget)

Update 2.42pm Mr Noonan is to raise the lower rate USC band from €12,012 to €13,000.

Update 2.40pm Duty on cigarettes will go up by 50c, bringing the average price of 20 cigarettes to €10.50, bringing in €61.4m annually.

He said this "public health measure" was the only tax increase in this year's Budget.

Update 2.39pm The Minister said: "The debt will fall to 93% of GDP by the end of 2016; around the Euro area average."

Update 2.37pm Mr Noonan said: "We are on track to recover all jobs lost and will have more people working in Ireland by the end of this decade than ever before."

Update 2.35pm Department of Finance is forecasting growth of 4.3% in 2016.

Update 2.30pm The Minister for Finance said: "The last few Budgets have been very hard, but they made it possible for Ireland to exit the bail-out and move into a real recovery. The top priority in this Budget is to keep the recovery going."

He confirmed Budget 2016 includes cuts to the Universal Social Charge, more doctors and nurses, and end to the "unfair treatment of the self-employed".

He said: "Our economy has been transformed, and is growing across all sectors."

Approximate timings:

2.15pm-3pm: Minister for Finance Michael Noonan delivers Budget speech

3pm-3.45pm: Minister for Public Expenditure Brendan Howlin delivers Budget speech

Departmental briefings:

4pm: Social Protection; Agriculture

4.15pm: Education & Skills

4.40pm: Jobs + Enterprise

4.45pm: Defence

5.15pm: Transport, Tourism

5.45pm: Health

6.30pm: Children

7pm - 745pm: Finance & Public Expenditure and Reform

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