Midwest Radio

Highlights of Budget 2018

Extra teachers, extra Gardai and extra welfare payments have all been announced by the government as part of Budget 2018.

The Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe has announced the budget in the Dail this afternoon.

He announced increased funding for social housing, for education and for health.

This will include recruiting 1800 extra frontline staff in the health services,  1300 extra teaching posts and 1,000 extra SNAs in schools, 800 extra Gardai and another 500 civilians to be taken on in the force.

From last week of March, €5 per week increase in all weekly social welfare payments, including disability allowance, carer’s allowance, Jobseekers’ Allowance and State pension.

The Christmas bonus will stay at its current level.

A new phone allowance has been introduced for social welfare recipients.

It's not available to everyone and will be capped at two euro fifty per week.

The Home Carer Credit to increase by € 100 in 2018 to € 1200 a year

Cigarettes are going up by 50 cent a pack, and a new sugar tax will be introduced next Spring on sugar-sweetened drinks.

Prescription charges for medical card holders under the age of 70 will reduced by 50 cent per item, with the monthly cap being reduced to 20 euro per month.

The threshold for the Drugs Payment Scheme is being reduced from 144 to 134 euro.

The 9% VAT rate for the tourism sector remains unchanged.

Elsewhere, stamp duty on commercial property is being increased from 2% to 6% from midnight tonight – but commercial land purchased for building houses will be eligible for the stamp duty refund scheme.

The vacant site levy is to increase from 3% to 7% in the second and subsequent years nad the Mortgage interest relief is to be tapered out by 2020.

In relation to personal taxation – the 5% Universal Social Charge rate will be reduced to 4.75% while the 2.5% USC will be cut to 2% with the ceiling for this rate increased to 19,372 euro – thereby exempting those on the minimum wage.The entry point for the USC remains at 13,000 euro.

The point of entering the higher income tax rate is being raised by € 750 from € 33,800 to € 34,550 ,while 147,000 self employed people will see the Earned Income Credit raised € 200 to € 1150 in 2018.





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