#Budget19: A summary of the main points

The Government has unveiled Budget 2019 with no real surprises in Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe's plan.

More than €66bn will be spent next year.

Here are the main points.

Housing and Capital spending

The Budget will provide a €100m affordable housing fund to help local authorities deliver affordable housing, and this will increase to €310m over three years.

It will be eligible to people on €50,000 a year for a single person or €75,000 for couples.

It is envisaged that it will knock up to €50,000 off the price of a house.

A total of €2.3bn announced for a housing programme with €1.25bn to deliver 10,000 new social homes in 2019.

There will be an extra €121m for the Housing Assistance Payment.

#Budget19: A summary of the main points

There will also be a €60m increase in capital funding to fund emergency accommodation, €30m extra for homelessness services, bringing the 2019 total to €146m on those services.

Total spending on capital next year will be €7.3bn.

The Budget will provide 100% mortgage interest relief on any loan used to pay for a rental property from January 1, 2019.

The Minister commits that any increase in Local Property Tax will be moderate and affordable, but provides no figures.

    Budget will allocate €286m towards new infrastructure like:

  • The N4 Collooney to Castlebaldwin and the Dunkettle Interchange.
  • The completion of the runway overlay project at Knock Airport.
  • The design, planning and implementation of cycling and walking projects around the country.

There will also be an extra €40m for pavement repair and rehabilitation works on regional and local roads.

Health

The Minister announced €1.2 billion extra spending next year on health.

An extra €84bn has been announced for mental health services next year, giving it a €1bn total budget.

#Budget19: A summary of the main points

There will also be an increase in funding to disability services of €150m to €2bn.

The National Treatment Purchase Fund funding will be €75m, an increase of €20m.

Social welfare and state supports

There will be two extra weeks' parental leave to all parents of a child under one. This will be increased to seven extra weeks in time.

#Budget19: A summary of the main points

Qualified child payments to be increased by €2.20 per week for under 12s and €5.20 per week for over 12s. There will be an increase of €25 in back-to-school clothing and footware allowances.

Christmas bonus to social welfare recipients to be restored to 100%.

There will be €90m extra for childcare supports to change bands for affordable childcare scheme: base threshold raised to €26,000; maximum up to €60,000; multiple child deduction increases to €4,300.

€25 increase in the weekly income threshold for GP visit cards.

All weekly social welfare payments will rise by €5 a week across the board from March next year. This excludes the monthly Child Benefit payment.

Prescription charges will drop 50c to €1.50 for medical card holders over 70.

Tax and USC

Entry level for higher rate of income tax increasing by €750 to €35,300, €502 increase in middle USC entry point, while the third rate of USC to be cut from 4.75% to 4.5%. Worth €205 pa to the average salary.

The threshold for the higher rate of employer PRSI is increased from €376 to €386.

A new exit tax regime of 12.5% on any unrealised gains arising from when a company moves assets offshore so they leave Irish taxation. This will come in from midnight tonight.

Corporation Tax to remain unchanged at 12.5%. The Minister says: "Our 12.5% corporation tax rate will not be changing."

VRT relief for hybrid vehicles will be extended until the end of 2019.

There will be a 1% surcharge on Vehicle Registration Tax for diesel cars across all VRT bands.

The tax-free threshold on Capital Acquisitions Tax will rise €10,000 to €320,000 when parents transfer assets to children.

The Home carer tax credit is to increase by €300 to €1,500, while the Earned Income Credit for self-employed is to increase by €200 to €1,350.

The film corporation tax credit will be extended to 2024 and legislation on the way to extend the three-year tax relief for certain start-ups until the end of 2021.

The 9% VAT rate will be retained for newspapers, and electronic publications will have its rate cut from 23% to 9%.

Tax on betting will rise from 1% to 2%.

Recruitment

The Minimum wage is to be increased to €9.80 per hour.

There will be increases in new entrant pay in the Public Sector, costing €200m out to 2025.

Department of Business is to get €950m next year, an increase of 9%.

Minister announces a new Future Growth Loan Scheme for SMEs, Agriculture and Food sector which will be worth up to €300m.

#Budget19: A summary of the main points

There will be enhancements to the KEEP programme to retain skilled workers.

Also, share options may now be granted up to 100% of salary and overall value of options will have higher ceiling of €300,000.

The Govt will raise the National Training Fund levy by 0.1% in 2019 and 2020.

Education

The Budget will provide an extra €196m for capital spending in education to create 18,000 new permanent school places, upgrade ICT and invest €150m in higher education.

In schools, there will be 1,300 additional posts in 2019 and a 5% increase in standard capitation rate per pupil.

There will also be 950 special needs assistants recruited in 2019 as part of a €1.8bn fund for children with special needs.

Old Reliables

A pack of 20 cigarettes will rise in price by 50 cent.

#Budget19: A summary of the main points

The minimum excise on tobacco products will rise so that all cigarettes sold below €11 will have the same excise as more expensive ones.

There is no carbon tax increase but a 1% surcharge has been put on VRT for diesel cars.

#Budget19: A summary of the main points

Agriculture

The agriculture sector will get €60m for Brexit-related supports with €53m in capital spending next year for the rural regeneration fund.

Sports, Tourism and Transport

Tourism VAT rate is to rise to 13.5% from January 2019 and the Minister expects it will raise €466m.

The Budget will allocate €35m for tourism investment including €4.5m for regional initiatives like the Wild Atlantic Way and Ireland#s Hidden Heartlands.

It also includes €10m for development of greenways.

Sport is to get €126m with €41m for sports projects like clubs and organisations, and the 9% VAT rate for sporting facilities will be retained.

Justice

Increasing budget for Gardaí by €60m with 800 new gardaí to be recruited.

    The Budget will give €60m to the justice sector for:

  • Asylum seeker accommodation
  • Widen Magdalene scheme
  • Reform of Department of Justice and Courts.

There will also be €29m for Defence to fund the replacement of equipment across the Defence Forces; and a €110m increase in foreign aid.

Special topics

A rainy day fund is to be set up with €1.5bn from the Strategic Investment Fund and €500m from the Exchequer.

Tusla is to get an extra €30m in funding.

"After July 2019 we'll stop buying diesel-only buses for urban PSO bus routes," says Minister.

NTMA also issuing a special 'Green Bond' which will fund climate-related spending, potentially at a lower rate than Ireland's other borrowings.

Mr Donohoe: "One in every five euros in Exchequer investment in the [National Development] Plan will be devoted to addressing climate change. This will provide a significant reduction in carbon emissions over the period to 2030."

- Digital Desk

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