Here's everything you need to know about Budget 2023

Here's everything you need to know about Budget 2023

Budget 2023 has been labelled as a cost of living budget. Picture: Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ie

In his opening remarks this afternoon, Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe deemed Budget 2023 "a cost-of-living budget". 

Both Mr Donohoe Public Expenditure Minister Michael McGrath said the measures included in the Budget would help support businesses, families and individuals as they attempt to deal with ever-increasing prices. 

Here are the main points of what's been announced:

Cost-of-Living

The Government will roll out a package worth €4.1bn aimed specifically at easing the pressure of the rising cost of living.

Among the once-off measures here are an energy rebate of €600 to be paid in three installments of €200 each over this year and next, and the extension of the fuel allowance scheme to an additional 80,000 people, bringing to 450,000 the amount of people eligible to avail of this relief. All recipients will also receive a lump sum payment of €400 before Christmas.

There will also be:

  • Double payments of child benefit and social welfare payments before Christmas; 
  • a one-off cost-of-living payment in October or November for those on social welfare supports.
  • a one-off €200 payment to those on Living Alone Allowance; 
  • a one-off €500 payment to people on Disability Allowance, Invalidity Pension and Blind Pension
  • a one-off payment of €500 to those in receipt of the Working Family Payment.

Social welfare and social protection

The Government has increased all social welfare payments by €12 a week and has announced a number of once-off and targeted supports under a €1bn social protection package.

In addition to the €400 fuel allowance lump sum, the qualifying threshold for the payment will increase from €120 to €200 above the relevant rate of the State Pension Contributory.

For those over the age of 70, the weekly means limit will increase to €500 for a single person and €1,000 for couples.

Childcare

Budget 2023 will see the introduction of a €121m scheme to cut childcare costs by up to 25% for families.

Included in this is a reduction of 25% in the weekly fee of those availing of the national childcare scheme.

Fuel and Energy

The Government will introduce a number of offsets to prevent the cost of a litre of fuel at the pumps from going up.

The rate per tonne of carbon dioxide emitted for petrol and diesel will go up from €41 to €48.50 per tonne. This will mean that there will be an increase of just over 2c VAT inclusive per litre of petrol and diesel.

Budget 2023 - Fuel and ENergy
Budget 2023 - Fuel and ENergy

The Government is proposing to offset this carbon tax hike with a reduction to zero of the National Oil Reserve Agency (NORA) levy which amounts to 2c per litre.

WHAT IS...

The Carbon Budget

Scientists have worked out how much carbon dioxide we can afford to pump into the Earth’s atmosphere without causing catastrophic climate change.

To keep global warming to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels, we can afford to “spend” between 220-440 billion tonnes of CO2 from now on.

This limit will be reached in between six and 11 years, if everyone around the world continues to “spend” at current levels.

Individual countries have their carbon budgets too, and sectors within economies are often allocated carbon budgets.

The EU, and individual countries such as Ireland, have carbon targets - the amount by which they promise to reduce the amount of CO2 they are emitting.

In Ireland, the new Climate Action Act sets out five-year targets for the country, and the Climate Advisory Council sets targets for sectors such as transport, agriculture, and energy.

...Read more

For businesses, the Government will introduce a Temporary Business Energy Support Scheme (TBESS) to give back 40% of the increased cost of electricity bill. A monthly cap of €10,000 will apply. 

Taxation 

A taxation package worth €1.1bn has been announced for the budget.

As regards income tax, the standard rate cut-off point will be increased by €3,200 to €40,000 for single persons and from €45,800 to €49,000 for married couples and civil partners.

The main tax credits — personal, employee and earned income credit (EIC) — will increase by €75.

Measures around taxation included in Budget 2023
Measures around taxation included in Budget 2023

The Home Carer Tax Credit will also increase by €100 to support stay-at-home parents.

For businesses, the 9% VAT on hospitality will return to 13.5% in February, while the tax-free allowance for bonuses from employers will change to €1,000.

Housing

A new tax credit of €500 per annum for renters in the private rented sector is being introduced for those who are not in receipt of any other State housing support.

Only one credit may be claimed per person per year, however it is proposed that the value of the credit will be doubled in the case of married couples and civil partners.

Housing measures included in Budget 2023
Housing measures included in Budget 2023

There will also be an extension of Help to Buy scheme to December 31, 2024, and extensions of the Living City Initiative to December 31, 2027.

For landlords, the Government has agreed to increase the eligible expenditure limit for pre-letting expenses for landlords to €10,000 and halve the vacancy period to six months.

A vacant homes tax will also be introduced. This will apply to homes occupied for less than 30 days a year and charged at a rate three times the Local Property Tax.

Transport

Reduced fares on public transport will remain in place for all of next year. 

The Government has also announced that €2.6bn will be pumped into progressing BusConnects, MetroLink and the Dart+ programme.

There will be additional funding for electric vehicle charging points and other infrastructure.

The country's rail network will get 41 extra train carriages and 91 new double-decker buses will be bought as well as 30 single-deck electric vehicles.

There will also be €1m per day in funding allocated to develop greenways and other walking and cycling amenities - €365m over the course of the year.

The Government is to put €6bn of corporation taxes into a rainy day fund this year and next.

Health 

Next year will see the overall allocation for health rise to €23.4bn.

Included in this are:

  • An increase in core expenditure of €1.3bn to facilitate the hiring of additional staff;
  • Funding for a dedicated women’s health package;
  • the extension of GP care for children aged 6/7 and those on median income;
  • the abolition of hospital charges from April 2023;
  • funding will be provided to provide access to IVF treatments;
  • and the expansion of the free contraception scheme to all those aged 16-30

Also included in the health budget is funding for a major expansion of the GP visit card scheme. Eligibility for the means-tested scheme will be extended to 430,000 more people, bringing the total number of people with GPV cards to approximately 2.5m people - roughly half the population.

Education

Overall, €9.6bn has been allocated to the Department of Education as part of Budget 2023.

Some of the measures included here are:

  • Free school books for primary school for all pupils in recognised primary schools within the Free Education Scheme from next September;
  • The recruitment of 686 additional teachers to be taken on for special classes, special schools and mainstream settings;
  • The recruitment of 370 additional teacher posts for primary schools;
  • Funding for 4,800 additional apprenticeship places;
  • And the provision of more than 11,000 upskilling and reskilling opportunities for sectors most impacted by Brexit

Third-level students will see their fees cut by €1,000 this year, with a once-off double payment of the student grant next year, and those studying for PHDs will get a once-off cost-of-living payment before Christmas.

There will also be a permanent increase in the support for Post Graduate fees under SUSI by €500 from €3,500 to €4,000 from September 2023.

Other

The excise on a pack of 20 cigarettes will increase by 50c, with a pro-rata increase on other tobacco products.

There will be no increase in excise on alcohol.

To support cider producers, the Government is granting up to 50% excise relief to independent small producers of cider and pear cider, also known as 'perry'.

Measures related to cigarettes and alcohol
Measures related to cigarettes and alcohol

There will be a cut from €110 to €55 in the cost of applying for a Special Exemption Order, which late-night venues require to operate.

The VAT rate on newspapers will be slashed to 0% from 9% and will apply to digital editions of these publications. This change will come into place from January 1, 2023.

There is a €67m increase in the budget for the Defence Forces bringing the total budget for 2023 to €1.174bn.

Of the new money, €35m will go on additional capital and operations projects and will allow for significant investment in equipment such as a primary radar system, upgrading of existing equipment and the modernisation of existing defence bases. A further €22m will go on “additional current expenditure to meet increased operational and standing costs of the Defence Forces”.

Meanwhile, some 1,000 new Garda and 430 Garda staff will be provided.

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From florist to fraudster, leaving a trail of destruction from North Cork, to Waterford, to Clare, to Wexford and through the midlands ... learn how mistress of re-invention, Catherine O'Brien, scammed her way around rural Ireland.

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