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Budget 2021 Key takeaways from the Government’s spending plans

The total value of support measures to date amounts to 24.5 billion euros

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The total value of support measures to date amounts to 24.5 billion euros (Niall Carson/PA)

The total value of support measures to date amounts to 24.5 billion euros (Niall Carson/PA)

The total value of support measures to date amounts to 24.5 billion euros (Niall Carson/PA)

The Government has revealed plans to spend its unprecedented 18 billion euro budget package on cash injections and support for struggling sectors.

The total value of support measures to date amounts to 24.5 billion euros, nearly eight times last year’s Budget plan.

These include:

– Businesses hit by the pandemic will be able to access a Covid Restrictions Support Scheme (CRSS).

– A reduced VAT rate for the hospitality and tourism sector from 13.5% to 9%, with effect from November 1.

– The minimum wage will remain outside the top rates of USC, with the ceiling of the second USC rate band increased from 20,484 euros to 20,687 euros.

– The weekly threshold for the higher rate of employer’s PRSI will increase from 394 euros to 398 euros, to ensure that there is no incentive to reduce working hours for a full-time minimum wage worker.

– People working from home will be able to claim tax deductions on utilities such as a light, heating and possibly broadband.

Carbon tax will be increased by 7.50 euros from 26 euros to 33.50 euros per tonne/CO2. This increase will be applied to auto fuels from Tuesday evening and all other fuels from May 1 2021.

– The help-to-buy scheme for housing will be extended until the end of 2021.

– Excise duty on a pack of 20 cigarettes is to increase by 50 cents, with a pro-rata increase on other tobacco products.

– Out of a total of 17.75 billion euros, more than 17 billion has been outlined for expenditure and 270 million in taxation measures.

– Additional 7.5 million euro for the Garda fleet.

– GDP is projected to decline by 2.5% for 2020 as a whole, with domestic demand falling by 6%.


– An extra 147 million will be allocated to the justice sector.

– If Covid-19 continues to spread, economic growth would be reduced by a further 1 percentage point this year to minus 3.5%.

A deficit of 21.5 billion euros, or 6.2%, is currently projected for 2020.

– Budget 2021 forecasts a deficit of 20.5 billion euros or 5.7%.

The Government is to utilise the 2.5 billion euro Rainy Day Fund

– This year’s deficit will bring overall national debt levels to just under 219 billion euros, or almost 108% of national income.

Capital expenditure will increase to more than 10 billion euros for schools, homes and public transport.

8.5 billion euros has been committed to public services to address the challenges of Covid-19, including 2.1 billion in contingency funding.

– Another 3.8 billion will be spent on existing services, in particular the Department of Health. A recovery fund to stimulate demand and employment will be established at a value of 3.4 billion euros.

Ireland will aim to secure about 2.5 billion euros from EU pandemic response funds. This will be used to support the existing Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS) for workers affected by the economic fallout of the pandemic.

– The pension age will remain at 66.

People receiving social welfare payments for four months or more will be eligible for the Christmas bonus.

– The Living Alone Allowance will increase from 14 euro to 19 euro per week.

Weekly rebates of up to 5,000 euro for businesses closed at Level 3 or higher.

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