July Stimulus: VAT reduction, Help to Buy boost, grants and subsidies

July Stimulus: VAT reduction, Help to Buy boost, grants and subsidies
Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise Leo Varadkar, Taoiseach Micheal Martin and Minister for Climate Action, Communications Networks and Transport Eamon Ryan, pictured today. Photo: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie

The rate of VAT will be reduced as part of the July stimulus plan, announced at Dublin Castle this evening by the Taoiseach, the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, and cabinet ministers.

There will also be changes to the 'Help to Buy' Scheme, as part of the 7 billion euro package.

The surprise of the briefing was a reduction across the board in the 23% VAT rate, to 21%, between September this year and February of next year.

First-time buyers will also get a boost: for the rest of this year, they will be able to get up to 10%, or €30,000, back on the cost of a new home under the Help to Buy scheme - up from 5% or €20,000 at present.

A 'staycation' subsidy of €625 for holidaying in Ireland was also announced, which will take the form of a tax credit next year.

There will be access to grants of up to €25,000 for businesses, as well as low-interest loans.

At today's announcement, Fianna Fáil leader and Taoiseach Micheál Martin says the package is wide-ranging.

"We understand that thousands of businesses are struggling to keep going.

'We can see the impact on individual workers, and their families, for the fear that their jobs may never return.

"Most of all, we as a nation know, that we have to work together, to develop the hope and confidence on which we can build a recovery."

Fine Gael leader, Tánaiste, and Business Minister Leo Varadkar says the money will be brought into the economy immediately.

"It is bigger in scale than most budgets, and will be deployed at speed, with the money being drawn down and spent in the next weeks and months.

"It's designed to help businesses to open, to help those that are already open to stay open, and for those who can't go back to their old jobs, to gain new opportunities, like education, training, apprenticeships, work experience and enterprise start-up grants for about 75,000 people."

Green Party leader and Minister for Climate Action, Communications Networks and Transport, Eamon Ryan, says the package will help to prevent businesses from closing across the country.

"Things have been tough, but our sense of community and collaboration has served us well during the crisis, and is what we need now, as we recover from the economic one that has come with it.

"Already we've seen people go out of their way to support local businesses, by staying at home and holidaying at home.

"Today's packages will support those whose jobs are most at risk, and provide opportunities for those who have to reskill or find different work, as well as supporting businesses to stay open."

Particular attention on the Greens' social media went to reskilling opportunities in green sectors such as retrofitting, required for thousands of homes around the country.

The news comes after weeks of speculation after the stimulus package was announced, and turbulence at an EU summit last weekend regarding the wider funding for rescue packages for member states.

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