The Finance Minister has unveiled the Budget for 2021/22 and announced a spending package of a €4.7 billion. As full details are published over the coming days we’ll post updates.
The headline items are as follows…
Education and Childcare
- 350 new primary school teachers and more than 1,000 new SNAs.
- €16 million for an additional 980 special education teachers in special classes, special schools and mainstream schools.
- Special and mainstream schools with two or more special classes to get additional administrative principals.
- Reduction in class sizes.
- €4 million to extend the hot school meals programme.
- The national childcare scheme universal subsidy will be extended for children under 15 from September.
- A new funding stream for up to 4,700 early years and childcare providers.
- €200 increase in the Susi maintenance grant for higher education students.
- Funding of €500 million for Covid measures such as testing/tracing and vaccination.
- Free GP care is to be extended to children aged six and seven.
- The threshold for the drugs payment scheme has been lowered, meaning the maximum someone will pay for approved prescribed drugs will be €100.
- Access to free contraception for women aged 17-25 from next August.
- 19 additional critical care beds will be funded next year.
- €105 million for disability services, including supports for school leavers and those inappropriately living in nursing homes.
- €37 million for the expansion of mental health services
- For those aged 19-23 the cost of public transport is to be halved, expected from the middle of 2022.
- €360 million to be provided for active travel and greenways.
- €60 million funding for aviation sector for capital and operational grant schemes and supports for regional public service obligations.
- €108 million in maritime funding, spending on safety training, equipment and systems for the Irish Coast Guard.
- The Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) is to remain in place until the end of February.
- €5 increase in main weekly welfare payments.
- €5 increase to the weekly pension payments.
- €3 increase in weekly Living Alone Allowance (for those on pensions).
- Changes to the income thresholds for Carer’s Allowance will mean a
single person earning €350 per week and a couple earning €750 per week
will still qualify.
- Parents Benefit is to be increased by two weeks to seven weeks from July 2022.
- €10 increase to the Back to School Allowance.
- €5 increase per week to the Fuel Allowance payment.
- The full Christmas bonus will be paid to welfare recipients.
Tax and Income
- €50 increase to the personal tax credits, employee tax credits and income tax credits.
- The ceiling of second USC rate band to is to be increased from €20,687 to €21,295.
- An increase of €1,500 in the income tax standard rate band for all earners from €35,300 to €36,800.
- The national minimum wage will increase by 30 cents to €10.50 per hour.
- The reduced VAT rate of 9% for hospitality businesses will remain in place until the end of summer 2022.
- For anyone WFH an income tax deduction amounting to 30% of the cost of vouched expenses for electricity, heating and broadband in respect of those costs incurred while working from home.
- No increase in excise duty on alcohol
- 50 cent excise relief for independent small producers of cider and other fermented drinks.
- 50 cent increase on excise duty on a packet of 20 cigarettes.
- A zoned land tax is to be introduced to encourage the use of land for building homes.
- An additional 14,000 Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) tenancies will be delivered.
- Relief for pre-listing expenses for landlords will be extended for
another three years to encourage landlords to return empty properties to
the market as quickly as possible.
- As previously announced by the government, some 9,000 new build
social housing units will be delivered next year as well as over 4,000
- The Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS) is be extended to April 2022.
- €60 million in funding to extend the commercial rates waiver until the end of the year.
- 800 additional gardaí and 400 Garda additional civilian staff will be provided.
- €6.7 million available for the Youth Justice Strategy to support the development of early interventions.
- A funding package will be provided to extend legal aid for victims of domestic, sexual and gender-based violence.
- €1 million in funding for additional doctors and nurses in the prison system.
- €850,000 will be provided for the recruitment of psychologists in prisons for early engagement with people convicted of sexual violence.