Budget 2018: What’s in it for Tipperary people? Templemore Garda College can look forward to a boost from the budget, along with middle earners, rural dwellers, and those on social welfare. Some of the main highlights of Budget 2018 so far are as follows:
*Pack of cigarettes now to cost €12, an increase of 50c. This kicks in at midnight tonight.
*Reduction in prescription charges for all medical card holders under 70 from €2.50 to €2 per item with cap of €20
*A new Sugar Taxof 30c per litre on drinks with over 8 grams of sugar per 100 mls will be introduced. Along with a reduced rate of 20c per litre on drinks with between 5 & 8 grams of sugar per 100 millilitres. Responding to the Budget, Irish Heart head of advocacy, Chris Macey said it's: "the single most important action Government can take."
*Boost for Templemore Garda College. Additional 800 gardaí to be recruited during 2018. Another 500 civilians to be hired also.
*Entry point for single earners to increase from €33,800 to €34,550. Changes to USC to reduce rates but do not narrow USC tax base. Entry to USC to remain at €13,000. 2.5% USC rate reduced to 2% with ceiling for the new rate increased from €18,772 to €19,372.5% USC rate to be reduced to 4.75%.
*€5 per week increase in weekly social welfare payments, including disability & carer’s allowance, Jobseekers’ Allowance & State pension. This will kick in at the end of March 2018. The Christmas bonus payment of 85% will again be paid to all social welfare recipients in 2017. Also from March, payments under the One Parent Family Payment and the Jobseekers’Transitional Scheme will be increased by €20 per week.
*VAT rate on the use of sunbeds has been increased from 13.5% to 23%
*€17m for Renewal Heat Incentive & to incentivise an increase in use of electric vehicles. 0% Benefit-in-Kind rate for electric vehicles
*Threshold for Family Income Supplement will rise €10 per week for families with 3 children. €2 per week rise in rate of qualified child payment
*No increase on fuel, or alcohol. The Vintners’ Federation of Ireland (VFI) broadly welcomed the measures announced in 2018 while having reservations about “the maintenance of the very high levels of excise on alcohol.”
*Small Firms Association (SFA) has welcomed Budget 2018 as "a step in the right direction for small business". SFA welcomes Key Employee Engagement Programme (KEEP), retention of the 9% VAT rate for tourism sector & a Brexit loan scheme for small businesses
*An extra €500 million will be provided to the direct building programme. An additional 3,000 new build social houses by 2021. Housing Assistance Payment scheme will be increased by €149m. Funding for homeless services increased by a further €18m to over €116m
*The free pre-school programme will be further developed – ensuring entitlement to the full 2-year service from September 2018
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