Income tax will not be touched in the upcoming budget but carbon tax is to increase, the Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe has confirmed.
The Government is now working on the assumption that Britain will crash out of the EU in January without a deal and will be borrowing between €15bn and €19bn next year.
Minister for Public Expenditure Michael McGrath has warned "there isn't anything that the Irish Government could do that will come close to matching the scale of the disruptive impact" a no-deal Brexit will have.
Although there will be no broad-based increases or cuts to income taxes, carbon tax is set to be hiked again in next month's budget and is expected to go up by another €6 per tonne.
Mr McGrath said "no decisions have been made on core social welfare rates". However, he ruled out an revision of Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) rates.
While the PUP scheme will now remain open to applicants up to the end of the year the rates have been changed.
From tomorrow, September 17, three rates of payment at €300, €250 and €203 per week will apply depending on how much a person earned before the pandemic.
#Budget21 will offer further support to the economy, prioritising Health, Housing & Climate change. We will continue to support those most in need, cushion household incomes & expand healthcare capacity as we guide our country through #COVID19 & #Brexit. https://t.co/VMiqw9U3KU pic.twitter.com/FQPzxoLEzu— Paschal Donohoe (@Paschald) September 16, 2020
The Finance Minister said Budget 2021 is being drawn up against the background of the continued economic, financial and wider societal fall-out from the Covid-19 pandemic and against the threat of a disorderly Brexit.
Mr Donohoe said: “Government has acted decisively this year to counteract the worst effects of the pandemic, with support measures of around €24.5bn provided to date.
“For next year, work is ongoing at an official level but, at this stage, a budget deficit in the region 4.5% and 5.5 per cent of GDP appears to be in prospect; this includes continued substantial Covid-related expenditure, albeit not at the same level as this year."
Mr Donohoe said up to €19bn will be borrowed next year but additional policy decisions - to be announced on Budget day – will add to this.