Budget 2018: Main Points So Far

Hope Soto
October 11, 2017

Ireland started reversing years of savage spending cuts and tax hikes in 2014, about the time its economy began to rebound sharply from a deep financial crisis, but Paschal Donohoe has far fewer resources this year than in those expansionary budgets.

The budget will amount to €60.9 billion for 2018.

The esthablisment of a "rainy day" fund with €1.5 bn to be transferred from the Ireland Strategic Investment fund.

€1.83 billion euro will be spent on housing in 2018.

This follows a €5 increase in the maximum rate of all weekly payments for 1.5 million beneficiaries that came into force this year as part of the last budget.

Commercial investment in housing finance will have €750 million made available.

Nama will still be wound down, HBFI will comply with state aid rules but will use NAMA expertise.

The level on stamp duty on commercial property transactions will rise from 2% to 6% from midnight.

The figure is still well below the previous rate of 9%.

There will be a 3% levy for the 1st year of vacant site to more than double to 7%.

An extra 4,000 social housing homes will be delivered next year through the Social Housing Current Expenditure Programme.

The Department of Health will get an increase in funding of €685 million, bringing their total budget to €15.3 billion.

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The National Treatment Purchase Fund will be given €55 million, which is a trebling on 2017's allocation.

There will be funding for an extra 1,800 frontline staff.

A 50c reduction in prescription charges for people with a medical card is also expected.

The Housing Assistance Payment Scheme will increase to €149m.

There will now be a 30 cent tax on a litre of fizzy drinks with 8g of sugar per 100ml, and there'll be a 20 cent tax on a litre of fizzy drinks with between 5 and 8g per 100ml.

The levels are consistent with the rates being introduced in the United Kingdom and will commence at the same time in April next year subject to State aid approval.

Additional 800 gardaí to be recruited during 2018. Another 500 civilians to be hired also.

A Brexit Loan Scheme has been announced to help small and medium enterprises.

The VAT rate on tourism & services sector WILL NOT change.

An extra €2.5m for Irish language training in 2018.

€20 million is being invested in ensuring a full free two-year pre-school programme.

Low to middle income workers will no longer be penalised for working overtime.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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