Budget 2018 marks Paschal Donohoe’s first budget as Finance Minister – and it is likely we will all have a small amount more money in our back pocket after it.
Cuts to USC are expected in some form, and the point where people start paying a higher rate of tax will probably see a slight increase.
An increase of about €5-per week is expected on pension and social welfare payments – and the Social Protection Minister, Regina Doherty, has said single parents are a priority for her.
We will update you here with everything you need to know as it is announced. Bookmark this page for reference, and follow us on Twitter for live tweets of #Budget2018.
WLR’s coverage of Budget 2018 is sponsored by PwC Waterford.
13:05 Donohoe says budget day offers the opportunity to reflect on a journey made. To recognise what we have achieved and what we want to.
13:07 Economic position: economy continues to grow with 4.3 per cent in 2017 and 3.5 per cent next year.
13:08 Unemployment is at 6.1 per cent, its lowest since 2008. Donohoe says it will fall to 5.7 per cent next year, close to the level considered to be full employment.
13:10 To “further protect the economy”, he will establish a rainy day fund of 1.5 billion euro from Ireland’s Strategic Investment Fund .
13:13 Total expenditure next year will be €60.9 billion.
13:15 The rainy day fund will get an annual contribution of €50 million.
13:16 He says ramping up capital expenditure too much “would be a dangerous and simplistic” move that would “overheat the construction sector and in turn our economy”.
13:16 The Government is raising €830m giving a total budget day package of €1.2bn.
13:16 There will be tax reductions on income of 335 million euro.
13:17 The projected deficit for this year is 0.3% of GDP, 0.2% in 2018.
13:18 There will be €1.83 billion for housing in 2018. 3,800 new social homes will be built next year. He will also increase housing assistance scheme by €149m.
13:20 He confirms that total expenditure in 2018 will be €60.9bn or €12,700 for every person in the country. Of this €55.5bn will be allocated to current expenditure but capital spending will amount to over €5.3bn, an increase of €790m on 2017 allocation.
13:20 He said: “I am announcing an allocation of capital expenditure of €4.3bn over the next four years.”
13:20 There will be an additional €115 million to deliver 4,000 extra social homes next year. He will also further accelerate this delivery from 2019.
13:21 Funding for Homeless Services will be increased by a further €18m to over €116m.
13:22 “We must also make it easier to get funds to build homes,” he said. He says he is making a “significant intervention”. This will involve 750 million euro from the strategic investment fund for commercial investment in housing. The new vehicle will be called Home Building Finance Ireland.
13:24 Commercial stamp duty was lowered to 2 per cent in 2011 as a stimulus. Donohoe says “it worked”. Now, the “time is right” to focus resources elsewhere. Stamp duty on non-residential property will rise to 6 per cent from midnight tonight. New rate is still below 9 per cent that was charged from 2002 to 2008
13:26 Paschal announces an additional 685 million in the Health budget representing a 5% increase
13:29 Excise Duty on Tobacco products to increase by 50c
13:30 There is to be 1,800 more staff across the health sector. €90 million is allocated for new access plan to ensure patients can avail of medical care in the “most appropriate setting to them”, particularly aimed at vulnerable patients.
13:30 Continued investment at primary care will require a multi-annual approach. Donohoe says he is making an extra 471 million euro available for the period 2018-2021. This will allow for investment in critical infrastructure such as the National Children’s Hospital.
13:31 A reduction in the prescription levy from €2.50 per item to €2 per item.
13:32 Drugs Payment Scheme threshold to decrease to 134 euro
13:32 Spending on education next year will reach over €10 billion, a new peak for the sector.
13:33 There will be a 30 cent per litre charge on all drinks with over 8 grams of sugar per 100 ml.
13:35 Funding for the recruitment of an additional 800 Gardai
13:36 VAT on sunbed services to be increased from 13.5 per cent to 23 per cent on health grounds.
13:37 There will be €63 million more for Justice to develop a “modern police force”.
13:38 Up to €300 million available to SMEs including food businesses “given their unique exposure” to Brexit, to help with their short term investment needs under Brexit Loan Scheme.
13:40 €2bn for the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport to help with the tourism sector.
13:41 Total allocation of 111 million euro for sport.
13:43 Additional funding of €9 million in current funding and €4 million in capital funding for the country’s cultural institutions.
13:44 Department of Children and Families will increase by 40 million euro
13:44 An increase of €64 million for the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine brining total investment to over €1.5 billion next year.
13:45 There will be a further 25 million euro loan scheme for the agri-food sector dealing with Brexit.
13:46 Additional €40 million goes to Tusla. This will be used for the introduction of mandatory reporting under the Children First Act, among other things.
13:47 €20 million more for childcare measures including a further extension of two years free pre-school years.
13:48 Social Welfare Payment schemes for Pensions, Jobseekers Allowance, Carers Allowance and Disability to increase by 5 euro.
13:50 “the disabled, carers, and the unemployed, “must continue to be supported in meeting the challenges they face on a day to day basis”, he says.
13:52 New telephone support of €2.50 per week for those on the living alone and fuel allowance.
13:54 Minimum wage to increase to 9.55 euro/H
13:55 There will be €23 million more for Foreign Affairs and Trade to “grow our global footprint” of staff.
13:56 Higher band of taxation to be increased by 730 euro.
13:57 Corporation Tax remains unchanged at 12.5%. Tax receipts to remain stable until 2020.
13:58 Corporation tax has seen “unprecedented change and reform in recent years”. “We have a stable and competitive corporate tax regime that is one of the most transparent schemes in the world,” he adds.