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Budget 2013: the main points from today's announcements

Here are the most notable measures announced by Ministers Howlin and Noonan today.

Image: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

Updated 16.40

THE IRISH GOVERNMENT’S Finance Team announced Ireland’s sixth austerity budget this afternoon.

Finance Minister Michael Noonan revealed how his department plans to increase the tax take to €1.1 billion in 2014, while Public Expenditure and Finance Minister Brendan Howlin explained how he plans to reduce spending by just under €2 billion.

Here are the main details from Michael Noonan’s speech:

Property Tax

-New Local Property Tax to be introduced on 1 July 2013;

-Exemptions will include:

  • Any new or previously unoccupied homes purchased up to the end of 2016;
  • First-time buyers in 2013;
  • Those in unfinished estates for the next three years;
  • Most of those exempt from Household Charge this year.

-The tax will be charged at 0.18 per cent of the market value for houses worth under €1 million;

-Houses valued at more than €1 million will be charged at 0.25 per cent of market value.

Other Property Measures

-Introduction of REITs (Real Estate Investment Trusts) to help NAMA offload its commercial property portfolio.

Cigarettes and Alcohol

-A bottle of wine will be more expensive from midnight because of a €1 rise in excise duty;

-Pints of beer and cider will jump by 10c;

-Excise duty on spirits will rise by 10c per standard measure;

-The duty on a packet of cigarettes will increase by 10c;

-Roll-your-own tobacco will increase by 50c per packet.

PRSI

-The minimum level of annual contribution from the self-employed will be raised from €253 to €500;

-Unearned income – for example rent receivable, investment income, dividends and interest on deposits and savings – will be subject to PRSI from 2014;

-The PRSI-free allowance has been abolished meaning a loss of €264 per year for employees.

Pensions

-From 2014, tax relief on pension contributions will only subsidise pension schemes under €60k per annum;

-The reduced rate of Universal Social Charge for those over 70 with an income of more than €60k will be discontinued from 1 January 2013;

-People with AVCs will be allowed to withdraw up to 30 per cent of their value at the individual’s marginal rate of tax.

Small Business and Jobs

-Noonan outlined the details of a 10 Point Tax Reform Plan which is designed to help the SME sector;

-The haulier industry will receive a rebate on diesel with effect from 1 July 2013;

-Approval for the CRO to extend its team of available reviewers to appeal credit decisions from lenders;

-VAT rate to remain at 9 per cent for the tourism industry.

Agriculture

-An extension of the 25 per cent rate and the special 100 per cent rate of stock relief until 2015;

-Introduction of a relief from capital gains tax arising on disposals of farm land for farm restructuring purposes.

Film Industry

-An extension of the Film Tax Relief Scheme to 2020;

-Reform of the same scheme to a tax-credit model in 2016.

Motoring

-The excise duty on petrol is to remain unchanged;

-Vehicle Registration scheme to change to a dual-system so next years cars will be either 131s or 132s;

-The rates of both VRT and motor tax across all categories will increase with effect from the 1 January 2013.

Other

-Carbon tax is to be extended to solid fuels on a phased basis over two years. A rate of €10 per tonne will apply from 1 May 2013 and increase to €20 the following year;

-Corporation tax is to remain unchanged;

-DIRT is to increase from 30 to 33 per cent;

-Capital Acquisitions Tax is to increase by 3 per cent to 33 per cent;

-The threshold to which Capital Acquisitions Tax applies is to be reduced by 10 per cent;

-From 1 July 2013, Maternity Benefit will be treated as taxable income but will be exempt from the USC.

Here are the main details from Brendan Howlin’s speech:

Health

-Spending in the area of health has been increased by €150 million;

-The Drug Payment Scheme threshold is being increased from €132 to€144 per month;

-People over 70 with an income of between €600 and €700 per week will have their medical card replaced with a GP card;

-Couples with an income of €1,200 to €1,400 per will will have their medical card replaced with a GP card;

-The prescription charge payable by medical card holders will increase from €0.50 to €1.50 per item; The monthly cap for families has been increased from €10 to €19.50.

Social Welfare

-Spending in the area of Social Welfare has been increased by €150 million;

-No primary weekly payment of social welfare has been changed – that is pensions, disability payments, jobseekers’ allowances and benefits;

-No change to either the rate or duration of weekly fuel allowances;

-Child Benefit has been cut by €10 per month;

-The duration of Jobseekers’ benefit will be cut by 3 months;

-The supports available to the telephone allowance scheme as part of the Household Benefits package (electricy, telephone and free TV licence) will be reduced. Changes to the electricity allowance will also be implemented.

Jobs

-Enterprise Ireland is to be given €139 million to support indigenous Irish exporters next year;

-The number of places available across the labour market activation schemes will be increased by 10,000 because of extra funding;

Education

-The higher education student contribution will increase by €250 each year between 2013 and 2015;

-Increase in the staffing schedule for Fee-Charging schools in 2013 by two points;

-Reduction of €13 million in the allocation to VECs;

-Reduction of €25 million in the allocation to higher education institutions;

-Sick-leave arrangements for teachers and SNAs will be made similar to those working in the Civil Service.

Expenses Reform

-Howlin proposed to abolish the system of ‘unvouched’ expenses;

-The Minister is also planning to reduce the money available to deputies through the Parliamentary Standard Allowance and the Party Leaders Allowance;

-He also wants to abolish the €35,000 severance payable to resigning Ministers.

Other

-€17.4 million to be provided for the building of a new youth detention facility at Oberstown;

-€9 million allocated to improve the energy consumption of central government buildings up to 2015

As it happened: Budget 2013>

See TheJournal.ie’s full coverage of Budget 2013>

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