The normal comment on Budget Day usually elicits a Shakespearean line – much ado about nothing… but this year’s Budget had something for everyone.
Paschal Donohoe, Minister for Finance and Minister for Public Expenditure & Reform delivered his first Budget speech on Tuesday 10th October 2017 and announced some €1.2 billion in new public spending (67%) and tax cuts (33%).
Expenditure in 2018 would exceed €60.9 billion or €12,700 for every man woman and child in Ireland. With unemployment currently at 6.1% and likely to fall to 5.7% during 2018 plus growth at 4.3% in 2017 and 3.5% in 2018, it was a "sweet budget".
All social welfare recipients received €5 additionally from the end of March 2018, income tax threshold increased and Universal Social Charge reduced while those with a sweet tooth, especially for soft drinks have to pay between 20 cents and 30 cents extra for their tooth-decaying habit.
A single person on €45,000 will be better off by c. €5 per week with these tax changes, those on half that about €1 better off per week while couples on over €75,000 each can look forward to an annual €650 into their pockets.
These measures Minister Donohoe stated would "safeguard our national finances and help to rebalance our economy; promote fairness and provide for sustained improvements in people’s lives; and make sensible and long-term investments to benefit us now and into the future."
Minister Donohoe concluded: "We are increasing our current spending in line with how we expect the economy to grow so, that we can continue, step by step, to deliver sustainable improvements for all, and where we are spending more, on our schools, hospitals, homes and public transport we do so to bring a secure, productive and fairer future that bit closer."
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