It was billed as a budget that would increase the quality of life for many, and whether or not it delivered on that promise – only time will tell. Here are the nuts and bolts of Budget 2024.
A tax package worth €800 per individual worker.
USC has been cut from 4.5% to 4%.
The point at which workers pay the top rate of tax will rise to €42,000.
The entry threshold to the 4% rate of USC will be raised to €25,760.
The minimum wage has increased by €1.40 an hour to €12.70 an hour.
Personal, Employee PAYE and earned income tax credits have increased by €100 each.
Pay Related Social Insurance (PRSI) contribution rates will increase 0.1% from 1 October next year.
Cost of living
A €300 lump sum payment will be made to anyone availing of the fuel allowance in the last quarter of this year.
Michael McGrath suggested extending the 9% reduced VAT on gas and electricity for another 12 months. He also said that the outstanding amounts of 8 cent on a litre of petrol and 6 cent on diesel, as well as 3.4 cent on marked diesel, would come into effect in two equal instalments on 1 April and 1 August next year.
All housholds will receive energy credits of €150 each to help with bills over the winter.
A one-year Mortgage Interest Tax Relief for homeowners with an outstanding mortgage balance of between €80,000 and €500,000 from December 31 has been confirmed.
Relief will be available on the increased interest paid on the mortgage in the calendar year 2023 as compared with the amount paid in 2022, at the standard rate of 20% income tax.
The relief will be capped at €1,250 per property.
Housing and Renters
The Help-To-Buy Scheme is being extened to 2025.
The Rent Tax Credit will increase from €500 to €750.
Parents who pay for their student children to live in accommodation or ‘digs’ accommodation will now be able to claim the Rent Tax Credit. This will be back-dated to allow for claims for the 2022 and 2023 tax years.
Weekly social welfare payments to increase by €12.
The Qualified Child Increase will increase by €4 to €46 per week for under 12s and to €54 per week for over 12s.
€200 extra will be paid to those receiving the Living Alone Allowance.
The Christmas Bonus will be paid in early December.
A once-off double week “Cost of Living Support” payment to all qualifying Social Protection recipients will be paid in January.
A once-off payment of €400 will be made before Christmas to those who receive the Carer’s Support Grant, Disability Allowance, Blind Pension, Invalidity Pension and Domiciliary Care Allowance.
A double payment of the Foster Care allowance will also be made this year.
There will be free school books for children in the first three years of secondary school.
Families with an income under €100,000 will have college fees for undergraduate students halved to €1,500. Other families will see a cut of €1,000.
The fee waiver on school transport services will be extended for a further year while the fee waiver for students sitting State exams will also be extended.
The home carer tax credit and the single person child carer credit will be increased by €100 and the incapacitated child tax credit is being increased by €200.
A double payment of Child Payment, worth an additional €140 for each child, will be made to all qualifying households before Christmas.
The National Childcare Scheme will see a further 25% reduction in childcare costs.
The statutory foster care rate will be increased by the end of 2024 by €75 per week for children under 12 and €73 per week for children over 12, bringing it to €400 and €425 a week, respectively.
A new Infrastructure, Climate, and Nature Fund will be established and is set to grow by €2bn for seven consecutive years until it reaches €14bn.
The accelerated capital allowances scheme for energy efficient equipment is being extended for a further two years.
The tax disregard in respect of personal income received by households who sell residual electricity from micro-generation back to the national grid is being doubled.
The zero VAT rate on the supply and installation of solar panels is being extended to schools from 1 January 2024.
VRT relief for battery electric vehicles is being extended to the end of 2025.
The rate per tonne of carbon dioxide emitted for petrol and diesel will go up from €48.50 to €56.00 from 11 October as per the trajectory set out in the Finance Act 2020.
Justice and Military
€172 million will be allocated for the justice sector which include funding towards the recruitment of 1,000 gardaí and up to 250 garda civilian staff.
An additional €25 million will be added to the garda annual overtime budget.
The defence sector will receive funding of €1.23bn next year aimed to further progress of the “priority recommendations” of the Commission on the Defence Forces and the Independent Review Group as well as towards the recruitment of 400 additional military personnel.
A total of €22.5bn has been set aside for the public health system, including an €808m increase in core current funding to tackle demographic and service pressures.
Non-core resources of over €1bn will be allocated for spending toward Covid-19 and Ukraine.
Cigarettes and vaping
The excise duty on a packet of 20 cigarettes will be increased by 75 cents.
A domestic tax on e-cigarettes and vaping products has been proposed by Minister McGrath for next year’s Budget.
There will be no increase on the price of a pint.