Words: Eva O’Beirne
Welcome to the Budget 2023 as it happens.
Amidst the chaotic news cycle, we’ve compiled a live blog containing the key takeaways about the Government’s plans for 2023.
The Minister of Finance has revised the forecast for inflation this year to 8.5 per cent for 2022 and 7 per cent for 2023.
The Minister of Public Expenditure has said it is the highest rate of inflation the country has seen in 40 years.
Non-energy, or ‘core’ inflation has been revised up to 5.25 per cent for this year and 4.5 per cent for 2023. Core inflation affects consumer goods, food and services.
The Government will be recording a surplus for 2022 and 2023 due to increased tax receipts.
The price of petrol and diesel will not go up as a result of excise reductions for energy. The Government will be extending the current excise reduction of 21 cents per litre for petrol, 16 cents per litre for diesel and 5.4 cents per litre for Marked Gas Oil, and the 9 per cent VAT rate for electricity and gas until 28 February 2023.
The higher rate on income tax will start at 40,000 euro with proportionate increases for married couples and civil partners.
Main tax credits (personal, employee and earned income) will be going up by 75 euro each.
The Home Carer Tax Credit will be increased by a hundred euro.
The Government is increasing the second Universal Social Charge Band – the 2 per cent rate – from 21,295 to 22,920 euro per year. This is to help those on full-time minimum wage.
The carbon tax rate per tonne of CO2 will increase by 7.50 euro.
An extension to five agricultural tax reliefs has been announced.
The price of a 20-pack of cigarettes will be increased by 50 cent.
A credit of 600 euro towards energy costs will be spread out over three 200 payments; one before Christmas and two early next year.
Renters, Landlords and Housing
A tax on homes vacant for more than 30 days has been introduced, which will be levied at three times the Local Property Tax.
A tax credit of 500 euro per year for renters will be applied for rent paid in 2022 and for every year after.
A review will be conducted of several ‘vulture funds’ to examine their activities.
Housing funding will increase to 6.2 billion euro in 2023.
215 million euro for homelessness services and 87 million euro for retrofitting of Social Housing in 2023 has also been announced. Homelessness services will experience a 21 million euro increase.
61 million euro will be allocated to schemes to tackle vacancy and promote regeneration in urban areas by addressing vacant homes.
Arts, culture and creatives
A total of 1.14 billion has been allocated to Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sports and Media.
The special VAT rate for hospitality of 9 per cent will expire at the end of February 2023 – it will not be extended. The VAT rate will return to 13.5 per cent.
In a last-minute move, newspapers and digital newspapers will be zero-rated for VAT.
The Government will extend the film corporation tax credit beyond the current end date of 2024, until December 2028.
90 million euro will be provided across the Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sports and Media sectors for their recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic. 25 million euro of this 90 million will be used to maintain the Arts Council funding at 130 million euro.
The Government also plans to expand their support of the arts, artists and the arts sector as a whole including the Basic Income for the Arts Pilot scheme.
Improved support to the National Cultural Institutions, Night-time Economy initiative, Culture Ireland and Creative Ireland Programme was also announced today.
6 million euro has been allocated for the Night-Time Economy initiative.
The 90 million euro will also be used to support the National Centre for Research and Remembrance.
The Special Exemption Order has been reduced by 50 per cent.
The National Campaign for the Arts (NCFA) has welcomed the budget measures announced today, noting that the funding of 6.6 million euro for Culture Ireland will address the increased costs of touring abroad and enable Irish artists to continue to showcase their work across the globe.
The sustained investment in Creative Ireland, and the securing of the ongoing trial of Basic Income for the Arts was also warmly welcomed by NCFA.
Angela Dorgan, Chair of NCFA commented on where the Budget can be improved further to support the arts: “While we celebrate the continued investment of €130 million in the Arts Council for 2023, which is the key mechanism for the funding of art, artists, arts workers and arts organisations right across the country, it is frustrating that this figure has not increased in line with the other spending increases included in Budget 2023.”
Health and Welfare
The debt per person ratio in Ireland is 44,000 euro for every person in the country – one of the highest in the world.
58 million euro has been allocated overall for mental health services, while 14 million euro has been allocated for ’emergency placements’.
Overnight hospital charges for adult inpatients are to end from next April. They were ended for under 16s recently.
An additional 430,000 people will be able to avail of the free GP visit card scheme.
The free contraceptive scheme will be extended to include those from 16 to 30 years old.
The first publicly funded IVF treatments will be supplied in 2023.
Those living with disabilities and their carers will both get a one-off payment of 500 euro this year.
The rate of child benefit will also rise to 42 euro for under-12s and 50 euro for children over 12 years of age. Working family payment thresholds will increase by 40 euro per week.
A once-off double week payment “Cost of Living Support” will be paid in October to pensioners, carers, people on disability payments and jobseekers. The normal Christmas Bonus will be paid in early December.
The childcare Budget will reach 1 billion euro next year – five years ahead of target.
A once-off reduction in student fee contribution of 1,000 euro has been announced for this year.
A once-off double monthly payment for those in receipt of the SUSI maintenance grant will occur this side of Christmas, while post-graduates will receive a 1,000 euro increase to the post-graduate fee contribution grant.
For families who earn under 62,000 euro per year, student fees will be reduced to 1,500 euro per year per student. Student fees will be reduced by 500 euro permanently.
A Temporary Business Energy Support Scheme has been announced. Businesses who are eligible can use it to cover 40 per cent of their energy costs, with a maximum claim of 10,000 euro per month.
Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has said “almost all businesses” will qualify for this scheme.
Transport and Development
The cost of public transport will be reduced by 20 per cent overall while the Youth Travel Card discount of 50 per cent will be extended to 2023.
An additional 800 million euro will be made available for the National Development Plan.
The Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment has been given an extra 36 million euro for investment in digitalisation and the green economy.
337 million euro has been allocated for grants for energy efficiency, which will fund over 37,000 home energy upgrades including households in, or at risk of, energy poverty through the Warmer Homes Scheme.
Fáilte Ireland initiatives will receive 15 million euro in extra funding
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