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Budget 2018: The key points

Budget 2018: The key points

Budget 2018: The key points

Paschal Donohoe initially had just 350 million euros in spare resources but boosted the final package to 1.2 billion euros.

Nama will still be wound down, HBFI will comply with state aid rules but will use NAMA expertise.

3% levy for 1st year of vacant site to more than double to 7%.

Teaching jobs will be increased by 1,300 to reduce the student to teacher ratio to 26:1.

Cigarettes and sugary drinks will become more expensive while on the expenditure side, more measures to stimulate house building have been introduced.

There will be 800 extra gardai and 500 extra civilians for the force.

The prescription charge is to be reduced from €2.50 to €2.00 per item. The monthly cap drops from €25 to €20, with the threshold for the Drugs Payment Scheme dropping from €144 to €134.

"I am raising additional revenues of the order of 830 million euros, giving a total budget day package of 1.2 billion euros", Donohoe told parliament in his first budget speech as finance minister.

Brexit Loan Scheme for SMEs announced - €300 million will be available to them at competitive rates.

The Dept of Transport & Tourism is to have a budget of over € 2bn - €112m for tourism and marketing the country, while Sport will get €111m for sport in 2018.

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The lower 9% Value-Added Tax rate on tourism & services sector WILL NOT change.

The Department of Agriculture will get an extra €64m, bringing total in 2018 to €1.5bn.

An extra €2.5m has been allocated for Irish language training in 2018.

20 million euro is being invested in ensuring a full free 2 year pre-school programme.

The cost of social protection will be over 20 billion and in the last week of March 2018 all weekly welfare rates will increase by 5 euro per week.

Low to middle income workers will no longer be penalised for working overtime.

The Minister for Finance has defended his decision to reduce both USC rates and change tax bands so that fewer people will pay the top rate.

Entry point to USC to remain at €13,000. €2 per week rise in the rate of the qualified child payment. This keeps minimum wage earners out of it.

The 5% USC rate will be lowered to 4.75%.

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