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Get ready: It's Budget Day (pt 1)

Today will be the first of two days during which the details of Budget 2012 will be unveiled. Here’s the latest on what we can expect between now and Tuesday afternoon.

Finance Minister Michael Noonan
Finance Minister Michael Noonan
Image: Eamonn Farrell/ Photocall Ireland

IT’S B-DAY – the day when part one of the Budget for 2012 is unveiled.

This year, the details will be revealed over two days instead of the traditional one, as announced late November by Tánaiste, Eamon Gilmore.

He said that the changes to public expenditure will be unveiled today, Monday 5 December, while the taxation measures will be outlined tomorrow, Tuesday 6 December.

Tomorrow was the original planned Budget Day.

At 2.30pm this afternoon, the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Brendan Howlin, will set out the details of €1.4 billion worth of cuts to Government spending programmes.

Social Welfare, Health and Education are the departments expected to be hit the hardest.

When the minister has finished outlining the details, the opposition will respond.

Tomorrow, Minister Michael Noonan will set out the details of the taxation measures.

The Government must reduce its spending bill by about €2.2billion, because of the terms of the EU/IMF bailout deal.

Last night, Taoiseach Enda Kenny held a state of the nation address – the first since Charlie Haughey spoke to the nation about living beyond its means in 1980.

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It was the sixth time a Taoiseach delivered such a television address to the nation.

Last night, the Taoiseach told viewers they were “not responsible” for the crisis – and that any change can only be achieved by working together.

He warned that the Budget “will be tough – it has to be”.

Some details about what we can expect in the Budget have been leaked – so what do we know so far?

  • An additional 2 per cent will be added onto the current VAT rate
  • There will be cuts to child benefit – but only for familes with three or more children
  • The Budget will introduce a new system of loan guarantees to enable banks to resume lending
  • Fifty quangos will be abolished or merged
  • The public sector will be downsized by 23,000 people by 2015
  • There will be a new micro-finance scheme to help people start their own businesses
  • An extra 5c could be put on petrol – and €30 on a tank of oil
  • The motor tax system will be ‘restructured, which wil include an “indirect tax” for motorists
  • There is likely to be a rise in college registration fees
  • Also in education, there may be a reduction for fee-paying schools in the pupil-teacher ratio

TheJournal.ie will be liveblogging the Budget this afternoon from 1pm on.

Read: Budget 2102: Top tips for beating Budget stress>

Read: Retailers call for no taxes on consumers and cuts to expenditure in Budget>

Read: Budget to be announced over two days>

Minister for Health warns of significant health service cuts>

Watch: Taoiseach outlines challenges facing Ireland in state of the nation address>

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