#Budget18: Health spending increased by €685m, new charges on sugar, cigarettes and sunbeds

#Budget18: Health spending increased by €685m, new charges on sugar, cigarettes and sunbeds

Spending on health has been increased by €685m, bringing total funding to almost €15.3bn for 2018, reflecting an almost 5% increase, the minister said.

The allocation includes an additional 1,800 staff aimed at a range of frontline services across the acute, mental health, disability, primary and community care sectors.

A reduction in prescription charges for all medical card holders under 70 from €2.50 per item to €2 per item, with a reduction in the monthly cap from €2 to €20, was also announced.

Graphics below from @IRLDeptFinance and @IRLDeptPER.

#Budget18: Health spending increased by €685m, new charges on sugar, cigarettes and sunbeds

To make a "healthier Ireland", the minister announced that excise duty on a pack of 20 cigarettes will be increased by 50c. This will bring the price of cigarettes in the most popular price category to €12.

Also, a sugar tax is to be introduced on drinks at a rate of 30c per litre on drinks with more than eight grams of sugar per 100 millilitres and a reduced rate of 20c per litre on drinks with between five and eight grams of sugar per 100 millilitres.

In a bid to slash skin cancer rates in Ireland - among the highest in the world - VAT on sunbed services is to soar from 13.5% to 23%.

Donal Buggy, Head of Services and Advocacy at the Irish Cancer Society said: “The Irish Cancer Society is pleased that price continues to rise. The price hike will encourage people to stop smoking and ultimately save lives.”

“Increasing the price of cigarettes is the most effective way of stopping children from taking up smoking and in encouraging people to quit. This can be seen in significantly reduced rates of smoking in Ireland among children and adults in recent years. Child smoking is at an all-time low of 8%, while overall smoking prevalence is at 23%.”

More on this topic

Business leaders call for wider tax netBusiness leaders call for wider tax net

Steady as we go, but pay gap is toxic - Setting budget expectationsSteady as we go, but pay gap is toxic - Setting budget expectations

Finance Minister called AIB chairman to discuss bank's inclusion in Paradise PapersFinance Minister called AIB chairman to discuss bank's inclusion in Paradise Papers

Government set for big defeat over women’s pension anomalyGovernment set for big defeat over women’s pension anomaly

More in this Section

LVA chides Dublin pubs on takeaway sales and outdoor drinkingLVA chides Dublin pubs on takeaway sales and outdoor drinking

Seahorses, snakes, and wildcat teeth seized by customsSeahorses, snakes, and wildcat teeth seized by customs

Top civil servant queried change to political pensions info ruleTop civil servant queried change to political pensions info rule

Man due in court after shots fired at gardaí in CorkMan due in court after shots fired at gardaí in Cork


Lifestyle

On June 26, we sat outside the first bar to open here since lockdown began on March 15. There are only two bars in the valley. Cafes serve drinks, but these are bar-bars, the kind that stay open after midnight.Damien Enright: Fruit trees are laden with their bounty as we prepare to leave

In October 1986, 52 mute swans, living peacefully on the Tolka in Dublin, were drenched in diesel oil accidentally released into the river. Swan-catchers went into action; only one bird died before they reached it.Richard Collins: Human crisis will offer chance for wild animal research

It's a typically Irish summer’s day of sunshine and occasional showers. Travel restrictions have been eased again and we venture forth to one of nature’s gems, Gougane Barra, deep in the mountains of West Cork.Donal Hickey: Gougane Barra has peace and wildness

When the ferryman pulls away from the pier and the salty spray of the sea hits your face the feeling of release from the mainland is deeply pleasurable. Your island awaits. Whether for a day trip or a holiday, the lure of the islands is as magnetic as ever.The Islands of Ireland: The lure of the less-visited

More From The Irish Examiner