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14th Oct 2014

BUDGET 2015 – What It Means for You

Here's what today's announcements will mean for your pocket.

Rebecca McKnight

Budget 2015 is underway. Here, you’ll find all the announcements from Minister Noonan as they happen. 


On Employment: 

Unemployment is expected to drop to just above 10% next year.

“We expect to have 2,000,000 at work in 2016.”

On Government Revenue:

Total general government revenue will be €65.2 billion in 2015 and total general government expenditure will be €70.5 billion.

Ireland’s GDP growth rate is forecast at 3.9% in 2015 and 3.4% in 2016, 2017 and 2018.

On Corporate Tax:

12.5 tax rate is “settled policy” and will not change.

The three year corporation tax relief for start up companies will be extended.

Aggressive tax planning has damaged reputation of many countries.

“I am abolishing the ability of companies to use the ‘Double Irish’.”

This legal change will take effect from 1 January 2015 for new companies. For existing companies, there will be a period of adjustment and transition up to 2020.

On Farming & Agriculture:

The will be no milk quotas from 2015.

The Government will provide an additional €6m a year for three years to the fund for horse and greyhound racing.

Farmers flat rate of VAT will be increased to 5.2% with effect from January 1st 2015.

On Tourism: 

The 9 per cent VAT rate on tourism is to be retained.

On Pension Levies:

The 0.6 rate is being abolished. However, 0.15 will be retained until the end of 2015.

On Housing:

The home renovation scheme will be extended to private landlords to incentivise standards in the private rental sector.

Capital Gains Tax Relief will be removed from January 2015 and first time buyers will be in line for a refund on DIRT.

On Water Tax: 

Tax relief on water charges at standard rate of 20 per cent, up to €500 charge.

On Income Tax: 

The higher rate of income tax will be dropped from 41% to 40%. The threshold at which taxpayers enter top band is set to rise from €32,800 to €33,800.

There are big changes in store regarding USC also. The current 2 per cent rate will move to to 1.5 per cent. The 4 per cent band will be decreased to 3.5 per cent. An 11 per cent band will apply to self-employed earners over €100k and an 8 per cent band will apply to PAYE workers earning over €70,000.

On Alcohol and Cigarettes:

There will be no increase on tax applied to alcohol. Cigarettes will go up by an additional 40 cents.

On Motoring:

There will be no increase on petrol, diesel, motor tax or vehicle registration.

Minister Noonan finished his speech by quoting Robert Frost’s poem The Road Not Taken and alludes to taking the road less travelled, unlike previous governments.

Minister Howlin

The minister announced a €2.2 billion three-year plan for social housing. This investment is set to deliver 2,500 new homes next year and more than 6,700 by 2017.

There will be an increase of €210 million in capital spending for 2015 to over €3.5 billion, with further increases in 2016 and 2017.

The will be no cuts to social welfare schemes for the first year since 2009.

There will be a doubling of the number of positions for the long-term unemployed on the Government’s wage subsidy scheme JobsPlus, up to 6,000.

An additional €10 million will be provided for accommodation and related services for homeless persons.

There will be a €5 increase to monthly child benefit. The government have also pledged to increase the sum by an additional €5 next year.

The will be an increase the rate of the Living Alone Allowance to €9 per week.

A 25% bonus will be provided to social welfare recipients this Christmas.

In education, more than 1,700 additional new full-time posts will be introduced next year: 920 mainstream teachers, 480 resource teachers and 365 SNAs. There will be no increase in class sizes.

By next year 2.1 million people with have medical card/GP card, including free care for under 6s and over 70s.

An investment of €2.2bn will be allocated to the justice sector to allow for the future recruitment of Gardaí.

There will be an increased allocation of €212m for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht in 2015.