Category Archives: The Budget

Budget 2018 Highlights

The highlights of the Budget for 2018 in Republic of Ireland have been announced by the Minister for Finance.

Income Tax and Universal Social Charge

Your will have slightly more money in your pocket but not much!

There will be €750 more income tax within the lower tax rate with the higher tax rate of 40% coming into effect for a single person for income at €34,550.

The Universal Social Charge will decrease the rate in bracket 2.5% to 2%, and the ceiling for this new rate will increase slightly to €19,372. The 5% USC rate will be reduced to 4.75%.

The Earned Income Credit for the self-employed will rise by €200 to €1,150 a year, meaning that self employed people are still taxed at a higher rate than PAYE employees.

Social Welfare and Allowances

Social welfare payments will increase by €5 per week from end of March 2018, and in 2017 a bonus payment at Christmas for 85% will be paid.

The earnings threshold for the One Parent Family Payment and Jobseekers’ Transitional scheme will increase by €20, and will increase by €10 per week for families with 3 kids for the Family Income Supplement, along with a €2 per week rise in the rate of the qualified child payment.

The home carer credit will increase by €100, which is a small benefit but not enough for these selfless people.

The Living Alone and Fuel allowances got a €2.50 increase in the Telephone Support Allowance.

Budget 2018



Not good news, I’m afraid! Mortgage interest relief cut but for people with loans from 2004 to 2012 it is being continued to 2020, it will be at just 75% of the rate in 2018, 50% in 2019 and 25% in 2020.

The vacant site levy will be increased to 3% in the first year and then 7% from the second year to get developers building on vacant sites.

The 7 year period for owners to enjoy full relief from Capital Gains tax has been reduced to 4 years.

There should be approxiamtely 4,000 social houses built by government bodies in 2018.

The Housing Assistance Payment Scheme will increase to permit an additional 17,000 households to be accommodated next year.

The homeless crisis will get an additional €18m for services, which again is too small to solve the issue.

Stamp duty on commercial property transactions will rise from 2% to 6%.

State Jobs

There will be an extra 1,300 teaching jobs and over 1,000 new Special Needs Assistants in 2018.

There will be an extra 800 gardaí hired along with another 500 civilians also.

The health sector will get an additional 1,800 staff in frontline.


Prescription charges for all medical card holders under 70 will decrease by 20% .

The monthly cap drops from €25 to €20, with the threshold for the Drugs Payment Scheme dropping from €144 to €134.

The Department of Health will get an increase of €685 million funding.

From April 2018, there will be a sugar tax of 30 cents per litre of tax on drinks with over 8g of sugar per 100ml and a reduced rate of 20% per litre on drinks with between 5g and 8g of sugar per 100ml.

Smokes, Sunbeds, Booze and Petrol

Excise duty on a packet of 20 cigarettes will rise by 50 cents, and VAT on sunbed services will increase from the reduced 13.5% to the standard 23% rate.

Alcohol, petrol and diesel escaped price hikes.

The Environment

There will be an incentive to get electric vehicles via the Renewal Heat Incentive, and there will also be a 0% benefit-in-kind rate for electric vehicles alongside the VRT relief and SEAI grant.


The lower VAT rate on the tourism and services sector remains, and a Brexit Loan Scheme will be available to small and medium businesses.

Overall, depending on your situation you may be minimally better off with the 2018 budget. However, with price increases over the last few years and what is still to come, I don’t think you will really be much better off.

Budget 2017 Highlights

We, at, are interested in all things that affect your finances. The 2017 Budget highlights are below with some minor advantages for lower earners, small improvements for entrepreneurs and effectively reducing the deposit requirements for new home owners but it has failed the middle income earners and has increased Government spending at a precarious time for the country’s finances. Perhaps the result of a coalition government, only time will tell if this budgets works.

Key Highlights of the 2017 Budget for Republic of Ireland announced by Minister for Finance Michael Noonan are

• Changes to Universal Social Tax with a reduction in three lowest rates of Universal Social Charge by 0.5% with a 1% rate cut to 0.5%; 3% rate cut to 2.5%; and 5.5% rate cut to 5%. The reduced 2.5% USC rate ceiling will increase from €18,668 to €18,772
• New income tax rebate of up to 5% under a Help to Buy scheme for new homes valued up to €400,000.
• State pension will rise by €5 per week from March 2017.
• Increase of €5 per week in social welfare payments.
• Christmas bonus for those on social welfare will rise to 85%.
• New help-to-buy scheme for first-time buyers. The big topic of homes will receive a boost of €1.2bn in funding for housing with 47,000 new social housing units to be built by 2021. Additional €105m to enable 15,000 more households to avail of Housing Assistance Payment Scheme. Also, the home renovation scheme will be extended for two years to the end of 2018.
• Mortgage Interest Relief will be extended to December 2020.
• Rent-a-Room income tax relied ceiling will increase by €2,000 from €12,000 to €14,000 per annum.
• More jobs will be created for civil servants with 2,400 additional teaching posts announced of which 900 will be resource teachers, 800 new Gardaí to be recruited in 2017 with more civilian staff to be hired as well to free up desk-bound officers, and 1,000 extra nurses and midwives to be recruited.
• 10 percent rise in minimum wage.
• Creation of a Public Service Pay Commission to report on unwinding of FEMPI legislation.
• Provision of €290m for pay increases agreed under the Lansdowne Road Agreement.
• New Single Affordable Childcare Scheme from September 2017 will be means-tested based on the parents income, for children between six months and 15 years and universal subsidies for all children aged six months to three years.
• €100 increase in Home Carers’ Credit to €1,100.
• Medical card for all children who receive domiciliary care allowance.
• More healthcare spending with an extra €15m to National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF) to reduce hospital waiting lists.
• €25 cap on prescription charges for over 70s reduced to €20 from 1 March 2017.
• Excise duty on pack of 20 cigarettes to go up by 50 cents.
• New measures introduced to reduce emissions including extending relief from vehicle registration tax on electric vehicles for five years
• Good news for those in the tourism sector who are able to take advantage of the reduced VAT rate, the 9% VAT rate for tourism and hospitality industry will remain.
• Entrepreneurship is being encourages with The Start Your Own Business scheme being extended for a further two years. Earned Income Tax Credit for self-employed increased by €400 to €950.
• The Government has decreased the capital gains tax (CGT) regime for entrepreneurs and start-ups by 50% on business disposals from 20% to 10% but the ceiling for the lower Capital Gains Tax rate is still €1 million.
• Low cost, highly flexible loan fund for farmers announced
• €1,270 income tax credit for fishermen.
• DIRT will be reduced by 2% each year to until 2020.
• Intention to introduce tax on sugar-sweetened drinks in April 2018 after public consultation.
• €28m increase in allocation for emergency accommodation to €100 million.
• €15m to help progress National Broadband Plan.
• €319m to be spent on regional and local roads throughout the country.

The general reaction appears to be muted to this budget as there is still along way to go to improving the people of Ireland’s financial circumstances. Let us know your thoughts.

Budget 2016 Summary

Here at, we try to save you money. With the increased costs of living and taking so much in previous budgets, the 2016 Budget has been announced with small steps to add a small bit back into your wallet but there is a long road still to go for citizens of Ireland.

Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan, stated that “all workers will gain a full extra week’s wages” and that Ireland is on course to be the fastest-growing economy in Europe for the second year in a row, and that with a State deficit for 2015 of 2.1%, we are ahead of the target of 2.7%. Mr Howlin said the budget deficit was 12.5 per cent when the Coalition came to power in 2011.

Key elements of the Budget 2016 inlcude:

Here are the main points of Budget 2016:

  • Income tax will decrease with the marginal rate of tax down reduced to 49.5% for individuals earning under €70,044 .
  • The much maligned Universal Social Charge will be less. The entry point for  USC will rise from €12,012 to €13,000. The 1.5% USC rate (on the first €12,012 earned) will be cut to %; the 3.5 % rate (on income of €12,012 to €18,668) is reduced to 3%, and the 7% USC rate (on earnings of €18,668 to €70,044) will reduce to  5.5%.
  • Self employed and farmers will receive an Earned Income Tax Credit of as do not receive the PAYE credit.
  • The statutory minimum wage is to rise from €8.65 to €9.15 per hour.
  • Income qualifying for the Knowledge Development Box will be subject to a reduced rate of corporation tax of 6.25%.
  • Capital Gains tax rate will be 20% per cent  for the sale of a business up to a limit of €1 million in chargeable gains.
  • The bank levy is to remain in place until 2021.
  • A stamp duty exemption for young trained farmers is to be extended for a until 2018.
  • The pension fund levy will be abolished.
  • The social welfare Christmas bonus will be 75% of the recipient’s weekly payment.
  • The old age pension will increase by €3 per week. Also, pensioners will get a Christmas bonus of 75% of the recipient’s weekly pension payment.
  • Child benefit will increase by €5 per month.
  • For new parents, two weeks of statutory paternity leave will be approved.
  • Free pre-school childcare will be available for children from 3 years until they start primary education or are five and a half years of age.
  • Parents will be happy that the free GP care scheme is expected to be available for children aged under 12.
  • The threshold for the Family Income Support payment is to increase by €5 per week for families with one child and €10 for those with two or more children.
  • The respite care grant for carers will be restored to its previous level of €1,700.
  • A tax credit for people who are carers in the home rises by €190 to €1,000. The income threshold for home carers will also increases.
  • Fuel allowance will be increased to €22.50 a week.
  • Motor tax for commercial vehicles above a certain size will be reduced to a maximum of €900.
  • Capital Acquisitions Tax tax-free threshold to €280,000, where property is transferreda between parents and their children.
  • Funding will be available for new teachers and garda will be recruited.
  • Nama is to deliver 20,000 residential units with 90% in greater Dublin area.
  • The excise duty on a pack of 20 cigarettes is to increase by 50%.

Let us know your comments on the budget.