Minister Pascal Donohue

  • Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe has announced a budget with extra spending of almost three billion euro.

    It includes an increase in the carbon tax which will see petrol and diesel getting more expensive from midnight tonight.

    Other fuel increases  - including home heating oil -will be delayed until next May, while the cost of a packet of cigarettes goes up by 50 cent.

    Stamp duty on commercial properties is to go up 1.5 per cent tonight.

    In housing, the help-to-buy scheme is being retained until 2021.

    There's also a package of 1.2 billion euro to help agriculture, businesses and tourism if there's a no deal Brexit.

    The Government is investing 2 billion in rural Ireland next year including 51m more for Dept of Agriculture

    In terms of social welfare, the 100% Christmas bonus for all social welfare recipients is being retained.

    There's no increase in the old age pension, while the Living Alone allowance to increase by 5 euro.

    The One Parent Family Payment is going up by 15 euro, and 10 euro for working family payment, and there are increases in qualified child payment by a further 3 euro for over 12s and 2 euro for under 12s.

    Jobseekers allowance rates for young people will be increased, and the Fuel allowance is increasing by 2 euro a week.

    There are no across the board tax cuts being announced today.

    However, the Earned Income Credit for the self-employed is going up 150 to €1500

    and there's a reduced rate of USC for medical card holders until December 2020

    There's an increase in tax-free threshold for inheritance tax by 15,000 to 335,000

    There's no change in corporation tax.

    In housing, there will be an extra €20 million for homeless services as part of a €2.5 billion investment in housing next year, but Minister Donohoe announced no new measures to helper renters other than €2m in additional funding to the Residential Tenancies Board to ensure compliance with rent pressure zones legislation.

    Commercial stamp duty will rise from 6pc to 7.5pc from midnight tonight and there are a series of complex tax changes also being rolled to target institutional investors or so-called cuckoo funds with the aim of making them pay more tax.

    HEALTH -

    Health current spending to increase by 6.3 per cent to 17.4 billion euro

    Prescription charges for medical card holders is to be reduced by 50c while there's an extra 25 million for the National Treatment Purchase Fund

    The Government has promised free GP care for children under eight and free dental care for children under six by September.

    Another one  million additional home care hours are to be provided next year, and another €100 will be allowed in home carers’ credits.

    In Justice, the Minister also announced 700 new garda recruits, with extra garda funding of €81 million


    In Education,the Minister has announced 581 new teaching posts – 408 of whom will be working with children with special needs, and 1,000 more SNA's.

    In terms of school funding, there's a 2.5%c increase in the capitation grant to meet day to day running costs from September 2020, and a pilot project to provide additional funding for school books in primary schools.

    The Minister also promised Improved teacher staffing levels will be introduced for small schools with four teachers or fewer.







  • Ireland is entering the worst recession since the Great Depression of the 1930s according to new Government figures.

    The economy is expected to contract by more than 10 per cent this year - with unemployment forecast to reach its highest ever level at 22 per cent.

    Things will recover a certain amount in the second half of the year - but the economy won't return to pre-crisis levels until 2022.

    The forecasts are based on the restrictions being in place for three months and get worse if they last longer.

    Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe has said there are tough times ahead:



  • Retail Excellence has forecast that another 200,000 people will be out of work by the end of this week, because of the measures put in place to tackle the coronavirus.

    This is in addition to the estimated 140,000 people who have already lost their jobs since restrictions were announced last Thursday.

    As more and more businesses are hit, Boyle Sports has announced the closure of all of its stores in the Republic of Ireland from this morning until at least the 29th March.

    Although there has been no official guidance in relation to bookmakers, BoyleSports believes the decision to close shops is in the best interests of staff and customers, and has said it will continue to pay all staff during this closure period.

    Also, every McDonalds restaurant in Ireland became takeaway-only from 5am this morning.

    Bathrooms will be left open as far as possible, but all seating areas are being cordoned off - due to Government advice on social distancing.

    Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe is meeting with bank chiefs today to discuss how the sector is responding to the crisis.

    A major surge is expected in bad loans as many businesses go under and homeowners struggle to pay their mortgage.

    It's understood the country's five main banks will discuss a plan to address the financial impact on customers, which may include a three-month freeze on mortgage payments on business loans.