So Budget 2016 was unveiled today by Minister Noonan and, as expected, it brought more good news than bad news.
After the wilderness of the austerity Budgets, we’ve all been longing for a financial reprieve and Noonan pledged to make the benefits of the recovering economy 'felt inside the door of every family'. The headline change of this year's Budget is that the much-despised Universal Social Charge has been cut. Most of the changes had been leaked in advance so there were few surprises.
Budget 2016 Summary
- Universal Social Charge rates have been cut from 7% to 5.5% and the entry threshold has risen from €12,012 to €13,000
- Child benefit has been increased by €5
- Free pre-school childcare will be available for 3-year-olds until they start primary school or reach the age of five and a half
- Free GP care for all children under 12 (subject to successful negotiation with GPs)
- The old age pension is up €3 per week
- The fuel allowance will be increased by €2.50 per week
- The Social welfare Christmas bonus will be increased by 75%
The average Irish tax refund is €1,880
- A packet of cigarettes is up by 50 cent
- There are no changes to alcohol, petrol or diesel prices
- The Home Carer tax credit is up from €810 to €1000
- The respite grant for carers has been restored to €1,700
- A tax credit of €550 for the self-employed and farmers has been introduced
- The Pension levy will be abolished in 2016
- Capital gains tax for the self-employed has been reduced from 33% to 20%
- The inheritance tax threshold rises to €280,000
- The 9% VAT rate for tourism has been retained
All in all, it's a more positive Budget than we've seen in a few years with everyone gaining from a tax perspective. Check out our Budget 2016 video below.