Budget 2017: The main points

Budget 2017 contained no real surprises. The following are the key elements in the package:

12th October, 2016
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Pat Breen, Mary Mitchell O'Connor and John Halligan Pic: RollingNews.ie

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan and Minister for Public and Expenditure Paschal Donohoe delivered the first budget of the current minority government in the Dáil yesterday, describing it as "the first steps on a new road by a new government". It detailed tax cuts worth €500 million, offset by €195 million in revenue-raising measures, as well as spending of €58 billion, including €1 billion more than previously allocated.

The total budget package amounted to €1.3 billion, split on a three-to-one basis between spending increases and tax cuts

The government is targeting a deficit of 0.9 per cent of GDP this year and 0.4 per cent next year

The budget provided for the hiring of an additional 4,500 frontline staff including gardaí, nurses and teachers

The 'Old Reliables' escaped unscathed except for a 50 cent rise in the price of a packet of 20 cigarettes

The main tax change was to the three lowest rates of the universal social charge (USC) will be cut by 0.5 per cent

The state pension and other social welfare payments will increase by €5 a week

The health budget was increased by €497 million in 2017 to €14.6 billion

The tax credit for the self-employed was increased by €400 to €950

The reduced VAT rate of 9 per cent for the tourism industry will remain in place this year

Early Years funding will rise by 35 per cent to €465 million, including the introduction of a new Single Affordable Childcare scheme

A sugar tax on fizzy drinks will be introduced in April 2018

First-time buyers will get a tax rebate of up to €20,000 for properties costing less than €600,000

Higher and further education get increased funding of €36.5 million in 2017

The Arts budget will retain the €49 million in funding granted to stage the 1916 programme of cultural events

The Capital Acquisitions Tax threshold for gifts from parents to children has been raised by €30,000 to €310,000

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