Unemployment is expected to decrease in 2015 by approximately 10%.
“We expect to have 2,000,000 at work in 2016”, Minister Noonan.
In 2015, total general government expenditure is expected to be €70.5 billion, while government revenue is expected to be €65.2 billion.
Ireland’s GDP growth rate is forecast at 3.9% in 2015 and 3.4% in 2016, 2017 and 2018.
The 12.5% tax rate is settled policy. It will not change.
The three year corporation tax relief for start up companies will be extended.
“Double Irish“ loophole will be abolished from Jan 1st 2015 for new companies. All new companies registered in Ireland will also have to be tax resident. For existing companies there will be a transition period until end of 2020.
Farming & Agriculture:
No milk quotas from 2015.
An additional €6m per year will be provided by the government to fund horse and greyhound racing for 3 years.
From 1st January 2015, farmers flat rate of VAT will be increased to 5.2%.
The 9 per cent VAT rate on tourism is to be retained.
The 0.6 rate is being abolished. However, 0.15 will be retained until the end of 2015.
Home renovation incentive will be extended to rental properties whose landlords are liable for income tax. Renovation scheme to apply to work done by end of 2015.
Capital Gains Tax Relief will be removed from January 2015 and first time buyers will be in line for a refund on DIRT.
On Water Tax:
Tax relief on water charges at standard rate of 20 per cent, up to €500 charge.
On Income Tax:
The higher rate of income tax will be dropped from 41% to 40%. The threshold at which taxpayers enter top band is set to rise from €32,800 to €33,800.
There are big changes in store regarding USC also. The current 2 per cent rate will move to to 1.5 per cent. The 4 per cent band will be decreased to 3.5 per cent. An 11 per cent band will apply to self-employed earners over €100k and an 8 per cent band will apply to PAYE workers earning over €70,000.
On Alcohol and Cigarettes:
There will be no increase on tax applied to alcohol.
Packet of 20 cigarettes to increase by 40 cent, with 25g packet of rolling tobacco to increase by 25 cent
There will be no increase on petrol, diesel, motor tax or vehicle registration.
Minister Noonan finished his speech by quoting Robert Frost’s poem The Road Not Taken and alludes to taking the road less travelled, unlike previous governments.
The minister announced a €2.2 billion three-year plan for social housing. This investment is set to deliver 2,500 new homes next year and more than 6,700 by 2017.
There will be an increase of €210 million in capital spending for 2015 to over €3.5 billion, with further increases in 2016 and 2017.
The will be no cuts to social welfare schemes for the first year since 2009.
There will be a doubling of the number of positions for the long-term unemployed on the Government’s wage subsidy scheme JobsPlus, up to 6,000.
An additional €10 million will be provided for accommodation and related services for homeless persons.
There will be a €5 increase to monthly child benefit. The government have also pledged to increase the sum by an additional €5 next year.
A 25% bonus will be provided to social welfare recipients this Christmas.
In education, more than 1,700 additional new full-time posts will be introduced next year: 920 mainstream teachers, 480 resource teachers and 365 SNAs. There will be no increase in class sizes.
By next year 2.1 million people with have medical card/GP card, including free care for under 6s and over 70s.
An investment of €2.2bn will be allocated to the justice sector to allow for the future recruitment of Gardaí.
There will be an increased allocation of €212m for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht in 2015.