From a €4bn ‘super fund’ to the PUP Christmas bonus: Everything we know about Budget 2021 so far
Tomorrow the Government will reveal details of the Budget 2021. Here’s everything we know so far…
■ Between €4bn and €5bn for a ‘super fund’ to deal with the twin-threat posed by Covid-19 and Brexit is being discussed. It is unclear whether the planned National Recovery Fund will form part of this or is separate.
■ At least €1bn in extra funding for Capital Expenditure in 2021 over and above what was budgeted for in 2020. Much of it will be spent on transport, such as roads projects, public transport and active travel including walking and cycling. It will also be spent on social housing and school building projects.
■ There is expected to be no income tax increases or cuts in the Budget.
■ A new compensation scheme for businesses closed by Government order is set to be introduced, with the aid coming in a weekly or monthly payment. The payment would be based on their revenue, turnover and the amount of tax they have paid in previous years.
■ There is to be tens of millions in funding as part of a major Live Entertainment Support Package to help music venues and theatres cater for reduced-capacity concerts and events. Grants of a minimum of €10,000 would help meet the costs of events where numbers are limited due to social distancing.
■ The VAT rate for the tourism and hospitality industry is likely to be cut from 13.5pc to 9pc.
■ The commercial rates holiday for businesses is expected to be extended into next year.
■ The enhanced Help-to-Buy scheme – allowing home-buyers to claim back up to €30,000 – may be extended into the new year.
■ The Budget is to set the basis for the scale of a new Affordable Housing Scheme.
■ Overall health spending is expected to grow by €4bn next year, with half for Covid-related issues and half for the implementation of the Sláintecare plan, including new hospital beds.
■ There will be €100m in new funding for the disabilities sector as part of the wider health package.
■ The cost of a packet of 20 cigarettes is likely to rise by between 20c and 50c. There is not expected to be a rise in alcohol duty.
■ Funding is to be provided for around 400 extra special-educational-needs teachers and up to 1,000 extra special-needs assistants.
■ Carbon taxes will increase by €7.50 to €33.50 per tonne. This will add €1.28 to the cost of a 60-litre tank of petrol or €1.47 to the same amount of diesel, as well as increasing the cost of home heating through solid fuels or gas.
■ A €300m investment in a retro-fitting project to improve energy efficiency in homes.
■ A €5-per-week increase for around 200,000 people in receipt of the Living Alone Allowance, which will see it go from €14 to €19 per week.
■ Around €220m in funding is to be set aside to pay for the delay in increasing the State Pension age increase from 66 to 67.
■ More than 110,000 carers are to benefit from a €150 increase in the Carer’s Support Grant. It is to go up from €1,700 to €1,850.
■ Funding to allow an extra three weeks of parents’ leave is to be included in the Budget.
■ Across-the-board increases to the State pension and other welfare payments won’t be happening.
■ A Christmas bonus is expected to be paid to welfare recipients. The possibility that people on the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) will be included – and under what terms – is being discussed. Whether it will be a 100pc payment or less is still being thrashed out.
■ A €3.50 increase in the fuel allowance to €24 per week to help vulnerable households amid an increase in carbon tax.
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