Friday 22 November 2019

The final countdown is on: What we know so far about Budget 2019 keeps you up-to-date with the latest from Budget 2019

The final countdown is on: What we know so far about Budget 2019
The final countdown is on: What we know so far about Budget 2019
Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe. Photo: Gareth Chaney, Collins Newsdesk Newsdesk

Budget 2019 is finally here - but what does it mean for your back pocket?

The talks on the Budget went down to the wire last night after the Independent Alliance members of Government arrived in Paschal Donohoe's office with fresh demands. So here's what we know so far:

USC/income tax

*Rate band for 2pc USC to be widened by €500 while 4.75pc rate to be reduced to 4.5pc. 

*The threshold for the 40pc higher income tax rate has been raised by €750 to €35,300. 

*There will also be an increase to the earned income tax credit for the self-employed.

Old reliables

*Excise duty on cigarettes will increase by 50c. The tax on gambling is also set to be doubled to 2pc.

Carbon tax

*As an alternative to the carbon tax hike, Mr Donohoe will announce a 1pc "surcharge" on the cost of registering diesel cars from January 1. This is expected to yield €25m next year.


*4pc annual CGT relief for landlords who provide long-term tenancies.

*100pc Mortgage Interest Relief on rental income

*Help-to-Buy scheme for first-time buyers to be retained

*A 'granny flat grant' is to be introduced to allow larger homes to be turned into rental apartments.

*Some €300m is also set to be allocated for a new Affording Housing Scheme.

Pensions and Welfare

*€5 hike to old age pension from March.

*Christmas Bonus to be fully restored to 100pc.

*Fuel allowance will be extended by a week

*€5 hikes to all social welfare payments.

*Increase to Qualified Child Allowance, up €2.20 per week with an extra €3 for children over 12

*Self-employed to get dole entitlements

*Two weeks' extra parental leave next year

*Back to school allowance up by €25

*More generous assessment levels for working family payment and One-Parent Family payment


*Overhaul of Fair Deal for farmers and small business owners.

*Prescription charges reduced by 50c for older people to €1.50 per item.

*Cap on family's monthly Drugs Payment Scheme bill to be reduced by €10 to €124.

*Allocation for the National Treatment Purchase Fund to rise from €55m to €75m in bid to cut waiting lists.

*Partial restoration of cuts in the fees paid to GPs for services to medical card holders.

Carer's allowance

*Home carer's tax credit is expected to go up by €300.


*DIRT- the tax on savings - is to decrease from 37pc to 35pc.

Special VAT for hotels and restaurants

*The special 9pc VAT rate for hotels and restaurants is to be hiked to 13.5pc. Indications prior to today suggested that this would be the case if carbon tax hikes were more limited. It seems Mr Donohoe has little choice but to raise the 9pc VAT rate back to 13.5pc in one swoop.


*Garda overtime is expected to be cut but funds will be allocated to recruit more gardai.

*Minimum wage to be increased 25 cents to €9.80

*Subsidy to schools for each child in attendance to be increased

*The Government are expected to hike education levy paid by businesses.

*Newspapers to retain 9pc VAT rate and €5m extra for RTE

*Extra €150m for road repairs


Rainy Day Fund

*Some €500m is expected to be put into a 'Rainy Day Fund'. However, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said it could be raided in the event of a "chaotic Brexit".

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