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Budget 2022: Here's everything we know so far ahead of today’s speech

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Photo: Frank McGrath

Photo: Frank McGrath

Photo: Frank McGrath

THE Budget will be announced today, Tuesday, October 12.

Here’s everything we know so far ahead of Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe’s 1pm speech.

Health:

  • Free GP care for children up to the age of seven will be an eye-catching feature of the Budget tomorrow.
  • There will also be a lowering of the threshold for the Drug Refund Scheme from €114 to a flat €100, which will save €168 a year.
  • And there will be improvements to the dental scheme aimed particularly at young PAYE workers. They will now qualify after two years of PRSI contributions instead of five.
  • A €250m package will tackle waiting lists, now approaching a total of one million people.

  • There will a €30m cancer strategy allocation

  • There will be €10m to back the roll-out of free contraceptives to young adults.

  • Home supports and care hours will be increased.

  • Measures will be taken to relieve period poverty for the first time ever in Ireland.

  • There will also be money to expand services at sexual assault treatment units.

Childcare and family:

  • Options under consideration include changes to the National Childcare Scheme (NCS) as well as increased investment in childcare services to support staff retention.

  • Fine Gael is pushing for an increase in the universal subsidy which is just €22.50 per week. But senior Government sources have signalled it may be the next budget before costs for parents are cut in any meaningful way

  • The family staple of child benefit will be yet again left alone.

  • There will also be a significant package for carers, including changes to how they are means tested along with a €5 increase in their weekly payments.

  • There will also be a €10 Increase in the Back To School Clothing and Footwear Allowance payment.

  • The National Childcare Scheme will be increased to include children aged up to 15. Only children up to the age of three are currently covered by the subsidy. The scheme provides 50c per hour towards the cost of a Tusla-registered childcare place for a maximum of 45 hours per week.

Tax and personal finances:

  • Income tax will not rise, and neither will VAT.
  • There will be 2pc rise in the personal tax credit, employment tax credit and earned income credit for the self-employed. The changes in the tax system will mean someone earning €40,000 a year will see their taxes fall by around €435 a year.
  • A new voucher scheme similar to the Stay and Spend scheme from 2020 may be announced.
  • The minimum wage will rise to €10.50 per hour.

  • The Employee Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS) will be extended to the end of March 2022. Announcements expected into the wind down of PUP and the CRSS pandemic schemes.

Working from home: 

  • Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has indicated that the Budget will include tax incentives to help people working from home.
  • Measures to be announced will mean people can claim up to 30pc of household power bills on the days they work from home.

Climate:

  • In line with the Finance Act passed last year, the carbon tax will be increased by another €7.50 this year to €41 per tonne – and will rise by the same amount in every budget until the year 2029. This will push up the cost of petrol, diesel and home heating fuels. A 60-litre tank of diesel will increase by €1.48 from October 13 and a similar tank of petrol by €1.28.

  • All other fuels will go up from May 2022 with an estimated €19.40 on a 1,000-litre tank of home heating oil. Mr Donohoe is resisting pressure from some in Fine Gael to scrap the planned increase over fears about its impact on home heating costs. The funds raised from the increase will go towards funding an increase in the fuel allowance as well as programmes aimed at reducing the State’s overall carbon footprint.

  • Coal and peat will also become more expensive from May with a 40kg bag of coal costing 89c more and a 12.5kg bale of peat briquettes costing 20c extra.

  • The €5,000 grant scheme for electric vehicles will also be extended for another year.

Housing:

  • There will be no tax breaks for downsizers designed to free up the supply of homes. Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe blocked efforts by Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien to introduce a number of incentives for people to downsize — also known as rightsizing — from larger three to four-bedroom homes to apartments in order to free up supply for young families.
  • Mr O’Brien also wanted to extend the Help to Buy scheme to first-time buyers who would bring derelict homes back into use. However, this was blocked by Mr Donohoe and the Department of Finance over fears it would dilute the overall impact of the tax relief of up to €30,000 for people buying their first home.
  • In their alternative Budget, Sinn Féin proposed also proposed the abolition of the Help to Buy Scheme to fund the phasing out of the local property tax. 
  • Owners of zoned and serviced property which is not developed after receiving planning permission will face a 3pc value tax.

Rainy Day fund/Pandemic Bonus:

  • Public Expenditure Minister Michael McGrath has said there is no plan to announce a pandemic bonus, in the form of a Bank Holiday or a voucher, on Budget Day

Farming

  • An increase in the grant aid for farmers to install solar panels on their sheds will be announced in the Budget later with the Department of Agriculture to provide up to 60pc of the cost of panels in what will be a demand-led scheme.
  • Otherwise, it is "steady as she goes" for Agriculture Minister Charlie McConalogue. He has secured a rollover of all the funding announced in last year's budget with €650 million going towards the likes of the Green Low-Carbon Agri-Environment Scheme (GLAS) and the Areas of Natural Constraint (ANC) schemes. Last year's announcement was an 11pc increase on the previous year.
  • Increased funding to tackle the rates of tuberculosis in cattle will also be announced.

Pensions and social welfare:

  • Tens of thousands of pensioners will see their weekly welfare payments increase by up to €13 under plans to be announced in today’s budget.

  • The state pension is set to increase by €5 to €253.30 from January while the Living Alone Allowance will increase by €3 to €22 on the same date.

  • All social welfare recipients will also see a €5 weekly rise along with a full Christmas bonus when Budget 2022 is announced this afternoon. The €5 increase in social welfare benefits will kick in from January 2022.

  • Fuel Allowance will also rise by €5 a week from midnight and will now be worth €33 per week, but carbon tax will increase.

  • A full Christmas Bonus will be paid to all social welfare recipients under plans to be announced.

  • From the first month of next year, the State pension will be €253.30 a week, the Jobseeker’s Allowance will be €208 and new parents on parental leave will receive €250 a week.

  • Among the welfare recipients to receive a €5 boost are those on Illness Benefit, parental leave payments and the Jobseeker’s Allowance.

Education 

  • More schools will be added to the DEIS scheme for disadvantaged communities, at an additional cost of €18m
  • Deis schools will also see for cut in their pupil:teacher rato
  • There will be additional leadership support for special schools and schools with at least two special classes that currently have a teaching principal. Budget 2022 will allow for an administrative principal, releasing the principal from teaching duties.
  • The Hot School Meals Programme will be extended to 300 schools after the Budget which is ten-fold increase in the number taking part in the scheme since Ms Humphrey’s took office.
  • The pupil teacher ratio will brought down to 24:1, which will be reduced from the current ratio of 25:1. This will allow for a reduction in class sizes in primary schools.

Old Reliables 

  • No new impositions on drink, either off-sales or on.
  • There will be 50 cent imposed on a packet of 20 cigarettes and pro-rata on other tobacco or nicotine products.

Anything else?  

  • Funding is also being provided for 800 new gardaí and 400 civilian personnel for the force. The Garda mountain bike unit is to be expanded and there will be additional investment in the Criminal Assets Bureau. There will also be a package of €13m to help tackle domestic, sexual and gender-based violence.
  • Young people will be able to avail of half-price travel on public transport. Discounts of 50pc on all fares will apply up to age 24, and to young adult workers as well as those studying at third level. It will be introduced next year.

  • Commercial rates are to be waived for the hospitality, arts and entertainment sectors until the end of the year. Travel agents and the aviation industry are also set to benefit from the waiver which will be announced in the Budget.

  • Minister of State for Sport Jack Chambers will confirm today that the female GAA players will receive the same amount of state funding as their male counterparts after today's Budget. Under the current model, male players receive €1,200 from the government while female players just €400. The move to equalise payments so that male and female players receive €1,200 will be sanctioned by today's Budget with grants distributed by the Gaelic Players Association. Mr Chambers has also secured increased funding for Sport Ireland and the Gaeltacht next year.

The Indo Daily Podcast: Why you are skint – everything you need to know about the budget

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