Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe has delivered his Budget for 2018.
Here are the main points.
- €5 per week increase in all weekly social welfare payments from the last week of March.
- Increase in the entry point to the higher tax band of €750 to €34,550.
- Sugar tax of 30c per litre on soft drinks with more than 8g of sugar per 100m
- The price of a packet of 20 cigarettes will increase by 50c to €12.
- VAT on sunbeds going up from 13.5% to 23%.
- Mortgage Interest Relief will end in 2020 with reductions taking place for the next three years.
- Plans for extra education spending to reduce the pupil-teacher ratio to 26:1.
- Brexit loan scheme for food companies.
- Vacant Site Levy increasing from 3% to 7% to force landowners to begin construction.
- Establishing a Rainy Day Fund with €1.5 billion initially.
- 50c reduction in prescription charges for medical card holders under 70.