BUDGET 2019- Live Updates

Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe has concluded his 2019 Budget speech saying: "The Budget I have announced today is a progressive budget with an emphasis on strengthening our national finances.

"It is a responsible Budget for a modern and caring Ireland that aims to be at the centre of a changing world."


The third rate of the Universal Social Charge will be reduced from 4.75% to 4.5%.

The entry point for the higher rate of income tax  will increase by €750 from €34,550 to €35,300 in the case of a single worker.

The hourly minimum wage is being increased to €9.80 per hour.

The ceiling for the second USC band will be increased by €502 to €19,874 so that a full time worker on the minimum wage will remain outside the top rates of USC.

The weekly threshold for the higher rate of employer's PRSI will be increased from €376 to €386

Home Carer Credit increase of €300, bringing this credit to €1,500 per year

Earned Income Credit for self-employed workers will be increased by a further €200 to €1,350 

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Childcare/Department of Children and Youth Affairs

The Department of Children and Youth Affairs gets an additional €127 million.
Tusla funding to increase by over €30 million to just over €786 million.
Funding for early learning and childcare will increase by just under €90 million to €574 million. 
Income thresholds for the Affordable Childcare Scheme will increase next year with the base income threshold being raised from €22,700 to €26,000, and the maximum income threshold from €47,500 to €60,000. The multiple child deduction will increase from €3,800 to €4,300.

The budget for sport is €126 million across a range of initiatives.  9% VAT rate retained for sporting facilities.

The Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht to get an additional €15 million in current funding and €21 million in capital.

Overseas aid

Overseas aid increase by almost €110 million.


€29 million for additional major Defence investment projects for 2019 to fund a programme of equipment replacement and infrastructural development across Army, Air Corps and Naval Service.


Garda  budget will be increased by €60 million or 3.5%, allowing for the recruitment of up to 800 gardaí



Allocation of an additional €57 million of current expenditure to the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine in 2019.

€60 million in current and capital Brexit related supports will be provided to improve resilience in the farm sector.
Renewal of  existing stock relief measures for a further three years. 

Extension of income averaging to farms with off-farm trading income.
Provision of a three year extension of the Young Trained Farmer stamp duty relief.
An additional €53 million in capital next year to fund the first round of projects under the new Rural Regeneration and Development Fund.


Climate Change initiatives
A package of climate change measures have been announced including €103.5 million for improvements in grant and premium rates for planting forests; Introduction of the Beef Environmental Efficiency Pilot (BEEP) ; €70 million for the Targeted Agriculture Modernisation Scheme (TAMS); and additional funding of €70 million for the Environment and Waste Management Programme.

VRT relief for hybrid vehicles is being extended until the end of 2019

1% surcharge for diesel vehicles across all VRT bands.

A new accelerated capital allowances scheme for gas-propelled vehicles and refuelling equipment is being introduced.

Minister Donohoe says he is committing Ireland to joining the Paris Collaborative on Green Budgeting

Business taxation

Betting duty on the commission earned by betting intermediaries will increase from 15% to 25%, with  effect from 1 January 2019 and  
The 9% tax rate for newspaper publications to be retained but the rate 23% rate for electronic publications cut to 9%.

Tax relief for certain start-up companies extended until the end of 2021

Film Corporation Tax Credit extended beyond the current end date of 2020, until December 2024.  
Increase in tax free threshold on Capital Acquisitions Tax which broadly applies to transfers between parents and their children from €310,000 to €320,000 


Transport and Tourism

€35 million for the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport, including €4.5 million for regional initiatives such as Ireland's Hidden Heartlands and the Wild Atlantic Way, and nearly €10 million for the further development of greenways.

The 9 % VAT rat for the tourism sector is being raised to 13.5% in January 2019.

An additional €40 million is for pavement repair and rehabilitation works on regional and local roads.

An additional €1.26 billion in capital expenditure is being allocated over 2018 to 2021 to the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport. €286 million of this will be made available for new transport infrastructure in 2019.


Corporation tax to remain the same.

Future Growth Loan Scheme for SMEs and the agriculture and food sector to be launched with €300 million provided.
€110 million for Brexit measures across a number of Departments, including funding for essential customs requirements and a range of other targeted measures.
Money to be set aside from corporation tax revenue for the Rainy Day Fund, so the risk of permanent expenditure on the basis of transient receipts is reduced. 

A new Anti-Tax Avoidance Directive (ATAD) compliant Exit Tax regime to come into effect from midnight tonight. The Exit Tax will apply at a rate of 12.5% on any unrealised gains arising where a company migrates or transfers assets offshore, such that they leave the scope of Irish taxation.


€10.8 billion has been allocated to the Department of Education and Skills in 2019, a 6.7% increase on last year, allowing for almost 1,300 additional posts in schools in 2019.

The standard capitation rate per pupil is being increased by 5%.

An additional 950 Special Needs Assistants to be recruited in 2019

An additional €196 million for capital funding in Education in 2019 has been announced to support the creation of up to 18,000 additional permanent school places and 5,000 replacement places and provide €150 million for investment in Higher Education, Further Education and Training, and Research.


Social Welfare

All weekly social welfare payments will increase by  €5 per week from next March and the Christmas bonus payment will be fully restored to all recipients this year.

A paid parental leave scheme will provide two extra weeks’ leave to every parent of a child in their first year from November 2019 . The Government intends to increase this to seven extra weeks over time.

From March the earnings disregard for the One Parent Family Payment will increase and a maintenance disregard for the Working Family Payment will be introduced.

The Qualified Child Payment will increase by €2.20 per week in respect of under 12s and €5.20 per week in respect of over 12s, as well as a €25 increase in Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance rates.



An additional €700 million has been announced toward the health service by way of a supplementary estimate, bringing the total additional 2018 investment to €1.2 billion.

Minister Donohoe has announced a further increase of €1.05 billion in Health funding for 2019. This brings the health budget to €17 billion. 

The total available funding for the National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF) will will increase by €20m to €75m in 2019. 

An additional €84 million will be provided for Mental Health Services in 2019 bringing the total available funding for Mental Health to €1 billion. An increase of 9%.

There is a €10 reduction in the monthly Drugs Payment Scheme threshold from €134 to €124

A 50 cent reduction in prescription charges from €2.00 to €1.50 for all medical card holders over the age of 70

€25 increase in the weekly income threshold for GP Visit cards



€1.25 billion is being allocated for the delivery of 10,000 new social homes in 2019

There will be an extra €121 million for the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) in 2019.

€60 million extra in capital funding in 2018, much of which will be to fund additional emergency accommodation

€30 million will be provided for homelessness services, bringing the total allocation for such supports to €146 million in 2019.

In the rental sector, Minister Donohoe is bringing forward the full removal of the restriction on the amount of interest that may be deducted by landlords in respect of loans used to purchase, improve or repair their residential property. The rate was due to be 100 per cent by 2021 but will now be effective from 1 January 2019.


Minister Donohoe has announced an additional €1.4 billion for schools, universities, public transport and other  infrastructure projects in 2019, bringing total expenditure on capital next year to €7.3 billion.