The Finance Minister has unveiled a 17.7 billion euro budget package.

Minister Paschal Donohoe said the budget has been framed with both Covid and Brexit in mind.

There will be a 3.4 billion euro recovery fund aimed at increasing employment. 

The fund will be targeted to boost domestic demand.

As part of the stimulus package, the VAT rate for hospitality will be reduced to 9% from November 1st.

The Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme or a similar scheme will remain in place to the end of next year.

The waiver on commercial rates will be extended for the final quarter of this year.

There will be a new COVID restrictions support scheme to provide targeted support for businesses that have temporarily closed because of the pandemic

Minister Donohue explained that scheme will operate when level three or higher is in place.

Elsewhere, carbon tax will increase by 7.50 a tonne from midnight, but there will be no broad changes to income tax credits or tax bands.

The Minister has announced some changes to Vehicle registration tax aimed at encouraging people to buy low emission cars.

Cigarettes are to go up by 50 cent - bringing the average cost of a packet of 20 to fourteen euro.

An extra €4 billion has been allocated for the health service next year, and 5 million extra homecare hours have been announced.

€100 million has been announced for new disability measures.

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