Everything you need to know from the Irish budget

Finance Minister Michael Noonan has announced the Irish Government's first spending plan since the UK voted to leave the EU.

Here's everything you need to know.

Tax changes

File photo of a piggy bank with euros in
(Brian Lawless/PA)

The hugely unpopular Universal Social Charge will be cut by 0.5% across its three lower bands in a move costing 335 million euro - this change is worth about three to seven euro for people earning 35k-70k euro. The threshold for the 2.5% rate will rise to 18,772 euro to keep lower earners out of the higher levels.

Other changes include an increase in the thresholds for inheritance tax to be paid to 310,000 euro, and a range of tax relief to help Ireland meet its climate change commitments. Moves will also be made to close tax avoidance loopholes being used by companies making big property plays.

VAT stays the same at 9%, as does corporation tax at 12.5%.

There's only one tax hike in the budget - a rise in the cost of cigarettes...


Someone shopping
(Julien Behal/PA)

The cost of cigarettes will rise 50 cents, cementing Ireland as one of the most expensive places in the world to buy tobacco - at around 11 euro for a packet of the most costly brands.

Ireland have also committed to a sugar tax in line with the UK's, which will kick in some time in April 2018.

Drink, meanwhile, is untouched for the second year in a row under Noonan's watch.


Photo of old woman's hands
(John Stillwell/PA)

Five is the magic number, with state pensions, dole for the unemployed, carers' allowance and disability supports all up by five euro from March next year.

The cap for the amount over 70s can be charged for prescriptions is also being cut by a fiver - to 20 euro.


Adult holding child's hand
(Niall Carson/PA)

A new childcare subsidy will be introduced from September next year, with universal payments being offered for all youngsters aged six months to three years being cared for by a registered childminder, creche or nursery. The payments will be worth 960 euro a year.

A subsidy will also apply for children between six months and 15 years, but parental income will be taken into account to determine eligibility.

The housing crisis

A row of houses
(Dominic Lipinski/PA)

A tax rebate initiative will give a 5% income tax refund for those buying their first home - for houses up to the value of 400,000 euro - while there will be a cap of 20,000 euro for buyers of houses up to 600,000 euro.

The scheme only applies to new homes but is backdated to July 19 this year and will run until the end of 2019.

A Brexit 'safety net'

EU flag in front of Big Ben
(Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA)

With this being the Irish government's first budget since the EU referendum, Noonan said a special fund needed to be created to deal with the fallout from the decision.

A "Rainy Day" fund will be pumped with one billion euro every year to give future governments something to fall back on.

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