Published: Wed, October 11, 2017
Economy | By Shawn Conner

Budget 2018: The key points

Budget 2018: The key points

When asked if Budget 2018 was one where resources have been spread too thin to satisfy anyone fully Mr Varadkar said: "If you put everything into one area, you then have to leave others out".

He will also siphon off 750 million euros from the state's sovereign wealth fund, the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund, to start a new body that will offer debt finance to builders and be staffed by executives from the state's "bad bank", NAMA.

He says this is another important step in strengthening the country's finances in a changing and risky world especially in light of Brexit.

1,000 extra special needs teachers will have been employed by Sept 2018, bringing the total to 15,000.

3,800 new social houses are to be built next year.

The level on stamp duty on commercial property transactions will rise from 2% to 6% from midnight.

The figure is still well below the previous rate of 9%.

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The planned vacant site levy for 2019 will now be 7pc - not the 3pc previously announced. Any landowners who don't develop that site in 2018 will pay 3% in 2018 but 7% from 2019 on.

Reduction in seven-year period for owners to enjoy full relief from Capital Gains Tax to four years.

The Finance Minister will increase spend of €685m in health, bringing funding to €15.3bn for 2018.

There will be funding for an extra 1,800 frontline staff.

More nurses and doctors, a reduction in prescription charges for people with medical cards and a sugar tax are just some of the health-related measures expected in today's Budget. The monthly cap drops from €25 to €20, with the threshold for the Drugs Payment Scheme dropping from €144 to €134.

The excise duty on a packet of 20 cigarettes will rise by 50 cents.

The government hopes to introduce the sugar tax at the same time as it is introduced in the United Kingdom - and at the same level.

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1300 extra teaching posts in schools for 2018. An additional 500 civilians will also be hired into the force.

Total Department Business, Enterprise and Innovation Budget of €871m next year.

But the Value-Added Tax rate on tourism enterprises remains fixed at 9%, something welcomed by Senator Maria Byrne, who said this will "help protect jobs and create further employment".

The Department of Transport, Tourism & Sport will get €111m for sport in 2018.

800 extra Gardaí are to be recruited in 2018.

Social Welfare payments will also increase by €5 weekly, but not until the last week in March 2018. While the Christmas bonus will stay at its current level.

For workers, 2 USC rates have been lowered and income tax bands have been raised.

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Entry point to USC to remain at €13,000.

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