Budget 2017: The main points you need to know

Budget 2017: The main points you need to know

It’s the budget that is being dubbed as the ‘Late Late’ budget by many as today’s announcements in the Dáil by Michael Noonan and Paschal Donohoe saw something for everyone in the audience.

However, the increases for many will be less than significant, with self-employed people coming off best according to most commentators.

Euro coins and banknotes

The main points:

The state pension will increase by €5 from March 2017, bringing the weekly rate to €227, while most other social welfare payments, including carers’ and jobseekers will also see an increase of €5.

The social welfare Christmas bonus also received a boost, and will increase to 85%, which is an increase of 10% from last year.

Those social welfare payments that have seen less of an increase include Jobseekers allowance for recipients aged 18-24 (an increase of €2.70) and those aged 25 (an increase of €3.80).

A cut to the three lowest rates of USC was also announced, with a 0.5% decrease for those paying 1%, 3% and 5.5%, while the 2.5% ceiling has been move upwards to €18.772 from 18.668.

Medical cards will be available for all children in receipt of the domiciliary care allowance, while Home Carers’ Credit will see an increase of €100, moving it to €1,100.

An additional €15m will be made available to the NTPF to try and reduce hospital waiting lists, and the €25 cap on prescription charges for those over 70-years-age will be cut to €20 from next March.

Among the other big spending items, €1.2bn in funding for houses was announced, while 47,000 new social houses have been promised by 2021.

An additional 2,400 teaching posts were confirmed, with 900 of these positions being for resource teachers, while there will be an extra 800 gardai recruited in 2017.

The only increase in tax was 50c on a pack of 20 cigarettes.

Minister Noonan also announced a new help-to-buy scheme for first-time house buyers on new homes, offering a 5% rebate of up €20,000 over four years.

Finally, in the headline points, an affordable childcare scheme will also be introduced next September, with universal subsidies of up to €900 for every family with children in childcare aged between six months and three years.

Means tested subsidies based on income will be also be available for children aged between six months and 15-years-of-age.

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