Budget 2015 - a scattering of crumbs


According to RTE these are the changes in the Budget. After years of making us pay for the crisis it appears that a few carefully selected crumbs are being thrown under the table to quiet us down. Predictions are that most people won't see a significant change in take-home pay. Most of the positives on social welfare and services represent the government returning a fraction of what was taken and the 'Make the Youth Emigrate' dole rates remain in place.

The big headline item is that 2.2bn capital investment in social housing but is that simply going to translate into massive state funding & subsequent profit for the same property developers whose gamble created many of the debts we will be paying off for years?

Water Charges Relief worth up to €100 announced
Water Subsidy expanded to include fuel allowance recipients
Child Benefit up by €5 per child from January
Entry point for USC raised to above €12,000
Reductions in both 2% and 4% USC bands
41% Income Tax rate reduced to 40%
25% Christmas bonus for Social Welfare recipients
Living Alone allowance up by €9 from January
Additional €10m for homeless housing and services
Price of 20 cigarettes to rise by 40c from midnight
€2.2bn capital investment in social housing over three years
Recruitment into the Civil Service to resume in 2015
Local Authorities to house extra 3,000 households in 2015
Income tax relief on water charges up to max of €500
Single person Income Tax Standard Rate band raised by €1,000
12.5% Corporation Tax is being retained
'Double Irish' tax rule to be phased out
Tax measures to support farmers announced
9% VAT in hospitality sector to be retained
0.15% pension levy to expire at end of 2015
Extension of Home Renovation Incentive to rental properties
DIRT tax refund on savings for first-time buyers
No rise in taxes on alcohol
€1.6bn for 300,000 work and training places next year
Back to Work Family Dividend to be introduced
€13.1bn allocated for health services in 2015
920 extra mainstream teachers for 2015
480 additional resource teachers & 365 more SNAs

WORDS: Andrew Flood (Follow Andrew on Twitter )