Budget 2017: Everything you need to know

Here are the main points of the Budget from the Dáil and from the press briefings giving more detail.

On welfare, five was the magic number, with state pensions, dole for the unemployed, carers' allowance and disability supports all up by €5 from March next year.

The cap on prescription charges for over 70s is also being cut by €5, down to €20.

On the unprecedented housing crisis, questions will be asked about the tax rebate initiative and on whose bidding the first-time buyers' payback was drawn up - the builders or the house hunters.

    Here are the main points:

  • New help-to-buy scheme for first-time buyers
  • A 0.5% cut in the three main rates of USC
  • DIRT to be cut by 2% each year for next four years
  • The 9% VAT rate for the tourism industry will be retained.
  • Cigarettes to be increased by 50 cent on pack of 20
  • 2,400 extra teaching posts and 800 new Gardaí
  • Pension up by €5 per week from March
  • Christmas bonus to welfare recipients will be at 85% of weekly payment this year
  • Budget includes €290m for pay increases across the public sector
  • New childcare scheme to subsidise payments will be means tested and not come until September 2017
  • Additional €15m to deal with waiting lists
  • After 2018 Government will set aside up to €1bn annualy as a rainy day fund

The Minister commends his Budget to the Dáil as he finishes his speech.

* Minister Donohoe announces €290m for pay increases under Lansdowne Road Agreement

Capital Spending

* There will be €15m to progress procurement of National Broadband Plan, to provide high speed broadband to areas of rural Ireland

* Minister Paschal Donohoe outlined roads funding including, Luas Cross City and Tuam to Gort motorway.

He said: "This represents an increase of 26% in capital expenditure in comparison to 2014. It includes for example transport expenditure of €319m on regional and local roads.

"It includes funding for the opening of Luas Cross City by the end of next year and the continued roll-out of improvements in construction of national road projects, including three major PPP projects: Gort to Tuam, Gorey to Enniscorthy and the New Ross bypass."

* Minister Paschal Donohoe says there will be a new round of Sports Capital Grants in 2017

* Capital budget across all departments will go up by €400m to €4.5bn


* Mr Donohoe says he will give an extra €28m for Justice, meaning 800 new Gardaí and an additional 500 civilian staff to be hired


* Special Operations - €30m fund for the ongoing emergency response to organised crime as well as operations targeting burglary and measures to deal with international terrorism risks.

* Garda Reform - €15m in funding is being provided to support the recruitment of up to 500 civilian staff and 800 new trainee Gardaí by the end of 2017 in order to underpin the Garda reform agenda.

* Regulatory Functions - €5m will enhance the oversight and regulatory functions of the Charities Regulatory Authority and Office of the Data Protection Commissioner.

* Legal Aid Board - €4m in funds, including legal advice under the Mortgage Arrears Support Package of the Governments Housing Plan.

* Immigration Services - €4m in funds, including further civilianisation of passport control functions in Dublin Airport.

Social Welfare

* Christmas bonus to welfare recipients will be at 85% of weekly payment this year

* Pension will be raised by €5 per week from March

* The Jobseekers' allowance will also rise in line with other social welfare payments by €5 per week.

* Dole payments to those over 26 to go up by €5 a week from May - those under 26 will get smaller increases ranging from €2.70 to €3.80, depending on age

* The Dental Benefit scheme will be expanded to include an annual free scale and polish and the Optical Benefit scheme will include the option of either free spectacles or a contribution (€42) towards the cost of upgraded spectacles. These measures will apply to both insured employees and self-employed.

* Increase of €20 per week in the income disregard for One Parent Family Payment and the Jobseeker’s Transition payment, from €90 to €110 per week.

* Improvements in the means testing arrangements for lower-income farmers on Farm Assist including farm families with children and expansion of the Rural Social scheme by 500 places.


* Increase in third level funding of €36.5m

* Minister announces an increase in funding of €458m funding for Education for 2017 to €9.5bn

“There is no element of our national life that has not been transformed by the increased educational attainment of our people,” he said.

* This will include 2,400 extra teaching posts of which 900 will be resource teachers

This will mean:

* 680 extra teachers to meet demographic pressures to cater for over 11,000 extra primary and post-primary students;

* 900 extra resource teachers to support implementation of a new model of special education provision;

* 100 new posts for career guidance;

* 550 additional posts resulting from implementation of the professional time agreement for classroom teachers implementing Junior Cycle; and

* 170 teachers as a result of enhancement in school leadership.

In addition, a further 115 Special Needs Assistants will be provided from January 2017.


* The Minister is reducing the €25 cap on prescription charges for the over 70s to €20 with effect from March 1.

* All children in receipt of the Domicillary care allowance will get medical card

* Total spending for health to reach €14.6bn in 2017

Mr Donohoe said: "Health spending in Budget 2017 represents the highest ever level of health funding in the history of our country."


* Additional €105m for HAP Scheme - brings budget to €153m - will enable additional 15,000 households avail of payment

* Minister Donohoe announces 47,000 new social homes by 2021.

* An extra €28m for sheltered housing for homeless


* A total allocation of €1.3bn will deliver over 21,000 units in 2017 through a range of social housing initiatives;

* Under the local authority housing programme over 1,500 units will be delivered through a combination of construction, acquisitions, rapid builds and Part V, supported through overall investment of €30727 million;

* The Housing Agency will be provided with €70m capital funding to engage with banks and investment companies to acquire properties for social housing nationally, thereby increasing social housing delivery. It is estimated that this mechanism will deliver some 1,600 units over the period to 2020;

* An additional 800 vacant units will be brought back to productive use;

* Funding of €6 million will be provided in 2017 to deliver 150 units under a new Repair and Leasing Initiative which will allow local authorities to provide grant funding to property owners to bring vacant properties up to standard which can then be leased for social housing

* Minister Donohoe announces €4.5bn in capital spending, to deliver ongoing programme of investment in Govt's Capital Plan, an increase of €1.9bn.

* Paschal Donohoe: "€58bn I'm announcing includes €53.5bn day-to-day spending, equivalent to €11,500 for every man, woman and child in the country."


Mr Noonan has finished his Budget speech and Paschal Donohoe begins to announce the spending measures for the Budget.

"It makes sense to avoid the mistakes of the past in overheating our economy," said Mr Noonan.

* Excise on tobacco to be increased by 50 cent on a pack of cigarettes from midnight tonight.

The Minister said it is the only tax increase in today’s budget. Drink was untouched, the second year in a row under Mr Noonan's watch.

* The Minister confirms that a sugar tax will be introduced with the UK in April 2018. The consultation process to run until next January.

Mr Noonan said: "Much analysis needs to be undertaken between now and then. Therefore a public consultation is starting now."

* Extending relief on VRT on hybrids by a further two years

* Extending relief rom Vehicle Registration tax on electric vehicles for five years.


* Mr Noonan has also increased the entry threshold for USC by €104 to take those on minimum wage outside of the top USC rates.

* Minister announces a €335m cut to the lower three rates each by 0.5% - the new rates will be 0.5%, 2.5%, 5.0%

Details of USC cuts:

Incomes of €13,000 or less are exempt. Otherwise,

* €0 to €12,012 @ 0.5%

* €12,013 to €18,772 @ 2.5%

* €18,773 to €70,044 @ 5%

* €70,045 to €100,000 @ 8%

* PAYE income in excess of €100,000 @ 8%

* Self-employed income in excess of €100,000 @ 11%

Business taxes

* Minister Noonan restates that Ireland's 12.5% Corporation Tax rate will not be changed.

Mr Noonan said: "Ireland’s 12.5% Corporation Tax rate will not be changed “and nobody in Europe or anywhere else is asking for it to be changed."

* The Start Your Own Business tax relief is being extended for two years until the end of 2018.

* CAT on inheritance or gifts from parents to children increased by €30,000 to €310,000

* Self-employed tax credit to increase by €400 to €950 (147,000 people will benefit)

* A reduced Capital Gains Tax rate of 10% will apply to the disposal in whole or in part of a business up to an overall limit of €1m in qualifying chargeable gains.

* Deposit Interest Retention Tax to be cut by 2% each year for next four years - from 41% now to 33% in 2020

Housing Relief Schemes

* Mortgage Interest Relief will be extended from December 2017 to 2020 - full details in Budget 2018

* Rent a room income ceiling to be increased by €2,000 a year to €14,000

* Home renovation incentive scheme to be extended by two years

* Interest deductability to increase from 75% to 80% in 2017 for those who let to social housing tenants

* New help-to-buy scheme for first-time buyers 5% up to €400,000 up to the value of €20,000 for new homes.

* Minister Simon Coveney reveals the help-to-buy scheme for first-time buyers will run for three years.

Here are the details:

An income tax rebate incentive is being introduced to assist first time buyers of new homes to fund the deposit required under the Central Bank macro-prudential rules. It will consist of a rebate of income tax paid over the previous four years up to 5% of the purchase price of up to €400,000.

Where new homes are valued between €400,000 and €600,000 the maximum relief (i.e. €20,000)

will continue to be available. The house must be a new build and applicants must take out a mortgage of at least 80% of the purchase price. This scheme will run until the end of 2019.

Income taxes

* The Home Carer's Credit will increase by €100 to €1,100.

* An increase in the Earned Income Credit from €550 to €950

* The tax-free threshold for inheritance tax will rise to €310,000 where the beneficiaries of a will are children, all other categories will rise by 8%.

* The Minister announces a new income tax credit for fishermen of €1,270.

* Special scheme to allow farmers experiencing exceptionally poor year to "step out" of income averaging.

New loans to farmers with interest rate below 3% to improve cash flow and reduce cost of short term borrowings.

Miscellaneous taxes

* After 2018 Government will set aside up to €1bn annually as a rainy day fund.

The Minister also announced that the special 9% VAT rate for the hospitality sector will remain for 2017.

* New debt to GDP target of 45% to be reached by the mid 2020s.

Mr Noonan said: "We must get away from the boom and bust cycles."

* The Finance Minister said: "Uncertainty has prompted a reduction in the Department of Finance’s growth forecast to 3.5%.

"We want to avoid any move towards a hard border with Northern Ireland (and) the preservation of the common labour market."

* There was GDP growth of 4.2% in 2016 and 3.5% in 2017.

Presenting his sixth budget since 2011, Minister for Finance Michael Noonan said: “We must budget prudently while we prioritise the repair of our public services after a period of under-investment.”

“The economy is in good shape. It is growing strongly” and good growth is forecast, he said.

The overall Budget package is €1.3bn.

* Mr Noonan says there will be €500m of tax cuts.

* Division of Budget will be 2:1 in favour of spending over tax cuts.

* Finance Minister Michael Noonan has started his Budget 2017 speech.

12.55pm: The first budget of the minority Government is about to be delivered.

Tax cuts and spending increases costing over €1.2bn will be unveiled by Michael Noonan and Paschal Donohoe in the next hour.

The ministers have arrived.

Budget preview: Today's Budget has been drafted with an eye on the next General Election, a senior Minister conceded this morning, writes Daniel McConnell, Political Editor.

Finance Minister Michael Noonan is said to be preparing to announce a series of measures to deal with the fallout of Brexit and he refused to disclose the details of the measures to the Independent Alliance in their meetings last night.

Talks continued this morning to finalise the details of the Budget with Fianna Fáil.

It appears that a universal childcare package has been agreed.

It has been confirmed that all parents with children aged between six months and three years in childcare will be entitled to up to €900 in State subsidies a year.

The country's poorest families will receive €8,000 annually under the budget’s childcare arrangement. Minister for Children Katherine Zappone’s plan will see all parents, no matter what their income, receive some subsidy from the State.

The targeted subsidies for the poorest will also apply to after-school care for children up to the age of 15.

Under the first-time buyers scheme, a maximum refund of €20,000 will be allowed for new builds up to €600,000.

It is understood that agreement was reached on a number of social welfare measures following talks last night with Fianna Fáil and the Independent Alliance including a €5 increase in the State pension which will begin in March and not January.

It has been agreed that there will also be an 85% restoration of the Christmas bonus and a reduction in the monthly cap for prescription charges from €25 to €20 for those over 70 with medical cards.

Other key measures include a childcare package under which a direct subvention will be paid to providers, which is geared towards families with a maximum net income of €48,000 and will cover around 80,000 children, it is believed.

Those in receipt of the One Parent Family payment will also be able to earn €110 a week and qualify for the full payment. It was previously €90.

The Budget also provides for 1,000 additional nurses, 800 extra gardaí and an additional €10m for home care as well as extra funding for housing.

The three rates of the Universal Social Charge will be reduced by 0.5% and those on the minimum wage will be exempt from the higher rate, which will be 5% after the Budget.

Mr Donohoe said budget negotiations went on late last night but that it was just the latest of a series long negotiations.

He said Budget 2017 would reflect the broad composition of the Government.

Speaking this morning, Kevin Boxer Moran said the Independent Alliance is happy with the outcome of budget negotiations but said some issues remain to be discussed this morning.

Asked if this meant there was still a possibility that the Alliance might not support the Government he said they are onboard and discussions today would be "small talk".

Mr Noonan is expected to begin his speech in the Dáil at 1pm followed by Mr Donohoe at 1.45pm.

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