Main points of Budget 2014

The young, the elderly and the old reliables are hit

Tue, Oct 15, 2013, 18:48

Health

Free GP care for children aged five and under confirmed, costing €40 million to the exchequer

€113m to be saved by removing `ineligible and redundant’ medical cards, and introducing wider medical card probity

Income threshold for medical cards for over-70s lowered

Number of waiting days for illness benefit rises to six from the previous three

Maternity benefits standardised at €230 per week, saving €30 million in 2014

Generic drugs and reference pricing to yield €50m in savings

Medical insurance tax relief capped at €1,000 for adult, €500 for a child

Excise

Beer and spirits hit by 10 cent rise, wine up 50 cent

20 cigarettes will rise by 10 cent, with similar hikes on other tobacco products

Education

Over 1,250 classroom and resource teachers to be recruited

€5 million allocated for books to rent programme in primary schools

€25 million cut in funding to third-level institutions to continue

No increase in pupil-teacher ratio

Property

€30 million to be allocated to the State’s house building programme which will deliver 500 houses, including new builds and the upgrade of previously uninhabitable units.

They will be seeking public money to fund “stable homes” for families who are long-term homeless.

Further €10 million to be allocated for unfinished estates

Home renovation tax incentive scheme gives tax credit to homeowners carrying out works on their homes in 2014 and 2015

€10m allocated to resolve problems at Priory Hall

Tax

DIRT rises to 41 per cent, similar rate for exit tax applying to life assurance policies and investment funds

Pension levy of 0.6 per cent to be abolished at the end of next year, but a 0.15 per cent levy will apply on funds held in 2014 and 2015

No increase in income tax, USC in 2014.

VAT rates are staying at 9 per cent, 13.5 per cent and 23 per cent in 2014

Home heating oil and petrol/diesel unchanged

Farmers’ flat rate addition being increased to 5 per cent from 4.8 per cent

Air travel tax to be reduced to zero from April 2014

VAT rate for tourism sector to remain at 9 per cent

Noonan says Government is ‘100 per cent committed to 12.5 per cent corporate tax rate’

However, Irish registered companies can no longer be stateless for tax purposes. ‘I want Ireland to play fair… and I want Ireland to play to win’

Lump sum compensation payments to Magdalene survivors will be tax exempt.

Start Your Own Business scheme aimed at those unemployed for 15 months includes two-year exemption from income tax

Economy

Budget has been ‘carefully calibrated’ to support growth in jobs and recovery

New bank levy will raise €150 million per year

Budget 2014 contains €2.5 billion in cuts and taxes

€1.2bn of additional revenue required in 2014

Welfare

Telephone allowance in household benefit package to be discontinued from January 1st, saving €44 million. Fuel allowance left untouched.

Pensions, carers’ allowance, disability benefit are untouched

Basic rate of social welfare stays the same, as does child benefit.

Free travel, respite care grant untouched.

The €850 bereavement grant is being abolished

Reduced rate of €100 extended to new entrants under 25 years of age to jobseekers scheme

Jobs

Budget contains 25 pro-jobs and pro-business measures

After much praise for public sector workers, Howlin says the target for public service numbers has been adjusted to add additional resources in health, education and policing.

€200m from lotto licence will be invested in local economic activity and job creation. Road maintenance and repair works, sports grants, energy programme for homes, housing adaptation grants, cultural initiatives and other tourism projects

Subsidised financial training programme for small businesses