Live Blog: Budget 2022

12:50pm  

The Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has said one of the main aims of Budget 2022 is to try and tackle the cost of living in Ireland.  

While Taoiseach Micheal Martin has said that he thinks “the backdrop for this budget is Ireland emerging from the Covid pandemic and the economic recovery underway.” 

Attempting to benefit everyone there are a magnitude of allowances and price cuts included in the changes, with tax increases seen in areas such as those relating to the environment. 

Key changes: 

  • The back-to-school allowance is set to increase by €10. 
  • As part of the first changes to the carers means test in 14 years more carers will qualify for payments. 
  • Carers will also see a weekly payment increase of €5. 
  • €5 increase on weekly social welfare payments including the State pension. A full Christmas bonus will also be paid. 
  • The qualified child payment will increase by €2 to €40 for under-12s, and by €3 to €48 for over-12s. 
  • €5 rise in the weekly fuel allowance – a change that is likely to take immediate effect from tonight. 

Health and Covid-19: 

  • Free GP care for children until their 8th birthday. 
  •  €10 million package for free contraception, while separately spending on women’s health package set to rise to €20 million. 
  • The Department of Health will receive €1 billion euro in Covid-19 funding, down from €2 billion euro in the 2021 Budget. 
  • There is over €200m set aside to help tackle Hospital waiting lists. 

Transport: 

  • Discount travel cards for 18-23-year-olds (inclusive) which will reduce public transport fares by 50 percent for card holders. 
  • The VRT exemption is to be extended for two years for electric cars. 

Safety: 

  • 800 extra Gardaí will be signed off on, with the creation of a Community Safety Fund to be launched also. 
  • There will also be a 20 percent increase in the Garda Mountain Bike Unit. 
  • Approximately 400 Garda civilian staff will be recruited, bringing the total level of Garda staff to 3,800. 

Housing: 

  • There will be €194 million euro put into homeless services. 
  • €18 million euro for Traveller accommodation schemes. 
  • €65 million euro for housing adaptation grants. 
  • There will be a €3 increase to the living alone allowance. 
  • There will also be a €10 increase in the income threshold for the working family payment. 

Environment: 

  • Carbon taxes to rise by €7.50 per tonne to €41 meaning: 
  • Approximately €1.30 in rise of cost to fill a car with petrol. 
  • Approximately €1.50 in rise of cost to fill a car with diesel. 
  • A 20-cent increase in the cost of a bale of briquettes. 
  • A 90-cent increase in the cost of a bag of coal. 
  • And about €17 to a natural gas bill for a house. 

Businesses: 

  • The Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS), will be extended to next April but will begin to be reduced from December. 

Education: 

  • Extra 980 teachers in special education, and an additional 1,165 Special Needs Assistants. 
  • The Susi student grant will be increased for those in higher /further education. 

1pm

Budget 2022 has begun as the Minister for Finance Pascal Donohue begins his statement by saying that no one could have predicted the devastation the Covid-19 pandemic has had on our country.

He said it reminds us that we must always prepare for the worst, while striving for the best.

“Our country now reaches for a better and brighter future.”

1.10pm

Minister Donohue says we are now entering a new phase where we are recovering from the pandemic and that the Government are aware of the pressure of the cost of living on many Irish citizens.

He says that consumer spending is leading the way to our recovery.

He says that consumer inflation is expected to rise significantly and will be the highest it has been since 2008.

1.15pm

Minister Donohue says the Government is well aware of the implications of Brexit on our country.

Finance Minister says a €4 billion euro COVID contingency fund is being created.

He says the number of people claiming Government schemes such as PUP are reducing and that the unemployment rate will fall by 6.5% by the fourth quarter of next year.

This signifies a remarkable rebound in our employment rate, saying schemes and Government aids are partly to thank for this.

Unemployment rate forecast to be just over 9% in 2022 and employment to increase by 150,000 jobs.

Government spending in 2022 is expected to be €87.6 Billion euro.

1.20pm

Overall borrowing will decrease slightly in 2022.

The National debt is currently €240 billion euro.

The pandemic is still with us, and some temporary supports will stay in place.

There will be no cliff edge to the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme – it will remain in place in a graduated form until the 30th of April 2022.

There will be no change to the EWSS in October or November.

Businesses still availing on 31st Dec 2021 will get it until 30th April.

1.25pm

Tax arrangements for international air crews under Section 127B of income tax code will change.

“This move will support the sector”- Minister Donohue.

Employees working from home will be able to claim back 30% of vouched expenses for heat, electricity and broadband.

Minister unveils a €520m tax package, the rate at which people pay the higher rate of tax increased by €1,500 and personal tax credit, employee tax credit and earned income credit increasing by €50.

The Government wants to ease the cost of living – Minister Donohue announces a tax package.

Minister unveils a €520m tax package, the rate at which people pay the higher rate of tax increased by €1,500 and personal tax credit, employee tax credit and earned income credit increasing by €50.

MINIMUM WAGE: The minimum wage is rising by 30c to €10.50 an hour.

The ceiling for the second band of USC is rising to €21,295 The USC exemption for medical card holders and those over 70 earning less than 60k stays in place.

1.25pm

“I appreciate the strain, anxiety and worry of the lack of available homes” – Minster Donohue.

HOUSING: “Government determined to build more homes.”

Housing for All to deliver 33,000 new homes a year up to 2030.

“Zioned Land Tax is to increase the supply of homes, rather than increase revenue.”

Zoned Land Tax will be introduced applying to land zoned for housing and serviced but not being developed 2 year lead in time for land zoned before Jan 2022 and 3 years for land zoned after Jan 2022.

The rate will be 3% of market rate. It will operate on self assessment basis and will be administered by the Revenue commissioner. The maps will change each year.

1.30pm

“The introduction of this tax is a very important step forward” – Minister Donohue

The Help to Buy scheme will be retained for 2022 at current rates and reviewed next year.

Three year extension to pre-letting expenses relief for landlords.

CLIMATE CHANGE: “Most important issue of our generaton.”

“Children, teenagers, the younger adults of today demand action, they deserve action.”

€7.50 increase in the carbon tax which will be reinvested in social welfare measures on fuel poverty and a just transition.

Minister announces modest tax disregard for personal income to households who sell surplus electricity from microgeneration back to the grid.

1.35pm

The revised motor tax system:

– 1% increase in VRT for bands 9-12.

– 2% increase for bands 13-15.

– 4% increase for bands 16-20.

Extension of 5,000 euro relief for Battery Electric Vehicles to end of 2023.

Fossil fuel equipment will no longer apply for Accelerated Capital Allowance.

Aims to support transition to lower emission fuels in heavy duty land transport.

Scheme extended for gas vehicles and hydrogen powered ones.

FARMING: Various farming stock relief to continue.

General stock relief will continue until end of 2024.

Relief for young trained farmers to continue.

Next year’s budget will contain 50% excise relief for independent small producers of cider and other fermented drinks.

1.40pm

SMALL BUSINESSES: Employment Investment Incentive scheme to be extended for three years and will be opened up to more investment funds.

Relaxation of the rules around the capital redemption window for investors.

Removing 30% expenditure rule – too strict.

Finance Minister announces that the Innovation Equity Fund is to get a further 30m euro – matched by 30m from EIB (subject to board approval).

This will launch in early 2022.

Extension of Corporate Tax relief to certain start ups until end of 2026.

“This relief supports employment and businesses in a cost effective manner” – Minister Donohue.

“These changes will provide greater certainty to companies” – Minister Donohue.

New Tax Credit for the digital gaming sector.

Will support digital game development companies – it will allow 32% up to a limit of €25m on the design, production and testing of a game

1.45pm 

TOBACCO/CIGARETTES: Excise on a 20 pack of cigarettes going up 50c with a pro rata on other tobacco products

Price of most popular cigarettes now €15.

Bank levy is being extended – Ulster Bank and KBC will be excluded from the charge as they’re leaving the market.

Expected yield of €87 million.

CORPORATION TAX: Government joins Global Political Agreement on future of Corporation Tax.

“Strengthens our competitiveness and place in the market” – Minister Donohue.

Question of rates was biggest challenge for Ireland, Minister Donohue says.

When it comes into effect we will apply the new 15 percent rate.

Minister says that although it is a major decision, it is the right decision.

1.50pm

He says setting it at 15% for the biggest companies is good – ‘it could have been far higher’.

12.5% won’t change for ‘most’ companies.

Minister Donohoe says Budget 2022 will support those looking to buy a home or who are renting.

Some noise in the Dáil at this remark – there are no tax measures to assist renters in the Budget.

“I am an optimist by nature” – Minister Donohue as he says that we have exciting times ahead, despite difficulties and obstacles.

“Budget 2022 sets the course for this journey” – Finance Minister wraps up his speech.

1.55pm

Minister Michael McGrath has started speaking – thanking people for their unity during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Minister McGrath says the proposals on a Pandemic Bonus will be announced in the coming weeks.

There are consultations with stakeholders to still be had – this means no announcement of a new Bank Holiday will be made today.

“It is about the State being there for people when they most need it” – Minister McGrath speaking of Government schemes throughout Covid-19.

“Now we have the hardest part – to build a better future for everyone in our country” – Minister McGrath.

Recovery funding of €286 million with:

– 90 million euro going to aviation.

– 30 million euro for protection and renewal of roads.

– 50 million euro in ICT grants for schools.

– 60 million euro for extension of commercial rates.

– waiver for Q4 targeted at hospitality, arts and tourism.

– 30 million euro for health for areas hit hard by pandemic.

2pm

WATER: €1.6 billion euro being invested in water services next year.

MICA SCHEME – New redress scheme to be announced in coming weeks.

COVID-19 RELATED HEALTH SERVICES – €1 billion euro for the health service in 2022 for Covid health measures.

€200m of that will be held in a central contingency fund.

Includes €500m for testing and tracing, vaccine booster campaign and PPE.

€10.5 million euro for 19 extra ICU beds in 2022 bringing total to 340.

33% rise since start of pandemic.

Access, Affordability and Quality are key pillars to the reform of the healthcare system.

2.05pm

HOSPITAL WAITING LISTS: €250 million fund to tackle waiting lists.

HEALTH: extension of free GP care to children aged 6 and 7.

Lowering of drug payment scheme threshold to 100 euro.

Improvement to dental access.

Measures to reduce cost of hospital charges for children.

30 million euro for new drugs.

WOMEN’S HEALTH: Package worth €31 million euro.

FREE contraception for women aged 17-25 from next August.

Government want to make progress to reduce period poverty.

There will be more funding for sexual assault treatment units

HEALTH/DISABILITY: 105 million euro for disability services.

37 million euro for expansion of mental health services.

30 million euro for national strategies including Cancer Strategy.

2.10pm

HEALTH STAFFING – 8,000 new posts across the Irish healthcare system.

Total Health spend for 2022 – €22.2 billion – including €1 billion euro increase in core health expenditure to a record €20.38 billion.

716 million euro investment in childcare in 2022.

78 million euro extra for National Childcare Scheme.

Linked to no increases in costs for parents.

New funding for 4,700 childcare providers from Sep 2022 at a cost of 69 million euro to improve worker conditions.

Extend National Childcare Scheme to children under 15 from Sep 2022.

DIRECT PROVISION: €28 million euro set aside for ending direct provision.

NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT PLAN: €11.1 billion set aside in 2022.

YOUTH TRAVEL – 25 million for a new youth travel card.

Anyone aged between 19-23 will get 50% discount on public transport in order to encourage its use.

AVIATION: 60 million investment for aviation for a number of both capital and grant schemes.

2.15pm

MARITIME FUNDING: €108 million euro announced.

EDUCATION: Confirmed €9.2 billion euro for Education.

This will see the hiring 980 teachers and 1,165 new Special Needs Assistants.

SCHOOL TRANSPORT: Minister Michael McGrath announced €30 million euro for school transport.

SCHOOLS:

– 350 additional teacher posts to reduce class sizes by 1.

– €18m to increase number of DEIS schools.

– €4m to increase allocation of hot school meals.

SOCIAL PROTECTION: €558 million euro package.

Extra 5 euro a week for working age welfare payments including 5 euro for young jobseekers.

STUDENT GRANTS: Student grants are getting a €200 increase.

This is the first rise since 2012 – qualifying thresholds also increase by €1000 and the threshold for the higher non-adjacent rate rising from 30km to 45km.

EDUCATION: 3,320 additional CAO places as part of a €68 million euro investment in higher education.

€35 million euro for cost of going to college €200 fee for post leaving cert courses will be scrapped.

2.20pm

CONFIRMED: 5 euro a week increase in state pension and a 3 euro a week increase to living alone allowance.

€1.4 billion allocated towards upgrading public transport.

€202 million to be put aside to improve energy efficiency in homes.

More information on Free Contraception Scheme here: https://twitter.com/DonnellyStephen/status/1447912062504558595

CONFIRMED: Increase in Qualified Children rate for u12s by €2 and over 12s by 3 euro.

ALLOWANCES CONFIRMED:

– €10 euro on the back to school allowance.

– €10 euro on the working family payment.

– Domiciliary Care Allowance from 3 to 6 months.

– Rate of wage subsidy scheme for disabilities will rise by a euro a week.

Minister announces increase in income disregard for carers allowance and earnings limit on disability allowance from €350 to €375.

PSRI: Reducing number of contributions for treatment benefits from 260 to 39 weeks.

100% Christmas bonus to be announced.

CONFIRMED: The fuel allowance is to rise by €5 euro a week.

TOURISM:

– €50 million for business continuity supports.

– €39 million for enhanced marketing and product development.

– Pilot basic income guarantee scheme.

– €25 million for the continuation of live entertainment supports.

2.25pm

€34million to be made available for apprenticeship places, 20,000 further education and training places.

AGRICULTURE: Doubling of the ex-gratia funding for animal welfare organisations as part of €1.85 billion programme for Agriculture and the Marine.

RURAL: €376 million programme for rural Ireland, including €4m for the SICAP programme.

€5m for new small capital grant scheme for community centre upgrades

CONFIRMED: Minister Michael McGrath announces 800 new Gardai and 400 Garda civilian staff in 2022 – the centenary year of An Garda Siochana.

€6.7 millionfor a youth justice strategy to tackle anti-social behaviour.

Minister McGrath announces a package on domestic and sexual violence including extension of legal aid for victims and funding awareness campaigns.

SHARED ISLAND: €50 million euro for the Shared Island Fund projects.

2.30pm

FOREIGN AFFAIRS: €69 million euro for Foreign Affairs with a focus on Brexit, enhancing global presence and online passport service.

Michael McGrath has concluded speaking.

 

Some reactions to the 2022 Budget on Twitter:

3pm

Mairéad Farrell is an Irish Sinn Féin politician who is a Teachta Dála for the Galway West constituency.

She says that Budget 2022 has failed to address extortionate rents, constantly rising childcare fees, inflating house prices, the elderly or the people on trolleys in hospitals.

 


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