So we’ve just had Budget 2019. And like it or hate it the budget is an important event that happens every year.
As Minister Paschal Donohoe said in his statement.
“The Budget I am setting out to the House today will further develop the underlying strength and resilience of our economy. We will manage the public finances responsibly; provide significant additional capital investment to enhance the growth potential of our economy and to improve the quality of life for our people; protect the most vulnerable in our society and promote real and sustainable increases in living standards for all; and prepare the economy for the challenges of Brexit – the best preparation for which is responsible budgetary policy”.
So what are the main points of Budget 2019?
The entry point to the higher rate of income tax for all earners will rise by €750, raising it from €34,550 to €35,300 in the case of a single worker
The third rate of the Universal Social Charge (USC) was reduced from 4.75% to 4.5%
The 9% VAT rate for hotels, restaurants and hairdressing will be increased to 13.5%
An additional investment of €1.2 billion will be provided for Health Care
An additional €84 million will be provided for Mental Health Services in 2019, bringing the total to €1 billion
There will be a 50 cent reduction in prescription charges from €2.00 to €1.50 for all medical card holders over the age of 70
There will also be a €10 reduction in the monthly Drugs Payment Scheme threshold from €134 to €124
There will be a €25 increase in the weekly income threshold for GP Visit cards
The hourly minimum wage will be increased to €9.80 from €9.55
A total of €2.3 billion is to be allocated to the housing programme for 2019 which includes €1.25 billion for the delivery of 10,000 new social homes in 2019 through a combination of construction, acquisition and leasing
A €10,000 increase in the inheritance tax threshold from parents to children was announced. €310,000 to €320,000
€5 per week increase in all weekly social welfare payments, from next March
100% Christmas bonus payment to all social welfare recipients
The price of a pack of 20 cigarettes is being increased by 50 cents, bringing the price of cigarettes to an average of €12.70
There will be a 1% surcharge for diesel vehicles to apply across all VRT bands
So what are people saying about Budget 2019? We had a look on Twitter.
Whatever about restaurants in Dublin, where there is a critical mass to maintain them to some extent, it’s the restaurants everywhere else that will suffer even more. #Waterford food scene is struggling at the best of times. This will close some for sure. #Budget19
— Caragh Nolan (@CCKear) October 9, 2018
No mention of a vacant homes tax or enhancing vacant site levies which are key to addressing housing & land hoarding. We need carrots AND sticks to address this crisis #emptyhomes #budget2019 #budget19
— Niamh Randall (@NiamhRandall) October 9, 2018
— John Gibbons (@think_or_swim) October 9, 2018
— Kevin O’Sullivan (@KOSullivanIT) October 9, 2018
— Profitwatch (@ProfitwatchInfo) October 8, 2018
Government to announce 100,000 more people to be entitled to free GP care in #Budget2019. It’s a wonderful aspiration, and something I would love to see rolled out. However, they may have difficult finding the actual GPs…. #resourceGP #ReverseFEMPI #Budget19 pic.twitter.com/x0iFhHwOOy
— Eoin Kelleher (@EoinKr) October 9, 2018
The meaty stuff is in the Budget papers. Government projects a real cut (after inflation) on spending for public services per capita of nearly 8 percent by 2023 – a real squeeze considering rising demographic costs. So much for a ‘caring’, ‘progressive’ budget. #Budget2019 pic.twitter.com/kXbFBM2iXZ
— Michael Taft (@notesonthefront) October 9, 2018
VAT increased on the job-creating hospitality sector, but VAT decreased on obsolete newspapers. This Irish Government looks after its friends, not the country. #Budget2019
— John McGuirk (@john_mcguirk) October 9, 2018
Quite depressing that welfare recipients will do significantly better out of #Budget2019 than the vast majority working people. Depressing but not surprising
— CondenserMike (@CondenserMick) October 9, 2018
Miriam: “So, for a family on a median income with two children what does #budget2019 mean?”
RTÉ budget dude: “Well Miriam, they’d get €3.50 a week from the USC reduction. €182 in 2019. They’ll also get crippling anxiety from trying to make ends meets. But, €3.50…”
— stephen todd 🇵🇸 (@UbuntuLad) October 8, 2018