The Budget for 2020 has just been delivered by Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe.
Brexit, as predicted, was the main topic up for discussion.
Paschal Donohoe said;
We will meet the challenge of a no-deal Brexit from a position of strength.”
A 1.2 billion euro package was announced in response to the UK leaving the EU later this month, this doesn't include EU funding.
19,000 jobs will be created regardless of a no-deal Brexit.
There was also a big focus on funding for tourism as it's expected visits to Ireland might go down after Brexit.
The Minister talked a lot about the environment;
"Climate change is without doubt our defining challenge."
There's also changes to carbon tax which could have a knock-on effect on the climate crisis, the tax is to increase by 6 euro a tonne which means a litre of petrol or diesel will cost 2 cent more from midnight tonight.
The aim of this increase is to raise €90 million in 2020 for climate change initiatives.
There will also be a new surcharge of 1% on imported petrol and diesel cars and €9 million invested into sustainable mobility projects like Greenways and urban cycling projects
Homeless services will also be getting a hand with and extra €20 million bringing the budget to €166 million.
Here's a breakdown of some of the major things.
- Pack of 20 cigarettes increasing by €0.50
- No change in the price of alcohol
- Prescription charges reduced by 50c each
- Drug payment scheme being reduced 10 euro a month
- 0.1 per cent increase in higher education training levy to raise 74 million
- No across the board personal tax cuts
- Self-employed income tax credit going up from 150 to 1500
- Reduced rate of USC for medical cardholders until December
- Banking levy going up from 59% to 170%
- The rate of USC for medical cardholders is being reduced until December
- Social Welfare Christmas bonus is remaining the same
- Living alone allowance going up by €5
- Qualified child payment is to increase by a further €3 euro for over-twelves and €2 for under-twelves.
- €20 million increase to funding for homeless services
- Grants to support those buying electric vehicles
- Additional funding of €2 Million for the rent to buy scheme
- Help to buy scheme is being extended until 2021
- €1.1bn for the housing service. With 11,000 new social homes to come on stream next year
- Health spending to increase by €6.3 per cent to 17.4 billion euro
- 150 new teaching posts and 1.9 billion investment in special education
- 400 teaching posts to support those with special educational needs and 1,000 SNAs
- Free GP care for under-eights
- Free dental care for under-sixes
- Increase in home carer’s credit to €1,600
- 13 million for warmer homes scheme