Breaking down Budget 2020 - here's exactly what you need to know 1 month ago

Breaking down Budget 2020 - here's exactly what you need to know

Budget 2020 was announced today by Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe and as predicted, there were no major "surprises".

The deciding factor in today's announcement was Brexit, with Minister Donohoe basing this "Budget without precedent" on a "central assumption" of a no-deal Brexit, and more caution was exercised because of this.

The Minister began his speech by announcing a €1.2billion pot to help Ireland respond to Brexit. Some €650million of this would be reserved for the agriculture, enterprise and tourism sectors.

Some measures will be introduced before others and we are breaking things down to include the major takeaways and how it might impact you personally.

Here's what you can expect over the next twelve months.

Housing

  • 2.5 billion will be allocated to the Housing Programme in 2020.
  • A further €20m goes to emergency homeless services bringing the total funding to €166m in 2020.
  • 11,000 new social homes to be built in 2020 with a further 12,000 in 2021
  • The Help to Buy scheme is now extended for two years and will be in place, under its current terms, until 2021.
  • An additional €80 million for the Housing Assistance Payment Scheme

Health

  • Free GP care for children under eight and free dental care for children under six
  • Prescription charges cut by 50c for all people
  • The medical card income thresholds for those over 70 will be increased by €50 for a single person or €150 for a couple per week with this expected to help 56,000 people
  • Family's monthly Drug Payment Scheme to be reduced by €10
  • Increase in home care hours in 2020

Carbon Tax

Carbon tax is due to rise by €6 per tonne and this comes into effect on auto fuels from midnight tonight. However, in a bid to allay backlash, the carbon tax on home heating will not begin until after winter 2019.

Emissions

The diesel surcharge will be replaced with a nitrogen oxide emissions-based charge for all passenger cars registered for the first time in the State from January 2020.

Further tax changes

  • 50 cent increase for tax on a pack of 20 cigarettes
  • Home carer tax credit to increase by €100
  • Self-employed tax credit raised by €150
  • Stamp duty up 1.5 percent on commerical, non-residential property

Education

  • Over €11 billion to be provided to the Department of Education and Skills
  • 1,000 special needs assistants
  • 150 new teaching posts and an additional 400 to support children with special educational needs

Social Welfare

  • 100 percent Christmas bonus this year for all social welfare recipients
  • Increase of fuel allowance by €2 per week
  • Increase of €5 for living alone allowance
  • €10 increase for the Working Family Payment income threshold for families with up to three children