Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe delivering Budget 2021 in the Dáil sitting in the Dublin Convention Centre
These are the main points of Budget 2021 delivered by Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe and Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Michael McGrath.
Budget 2021 will:
• Protect lives from the threat of Covid-19;
• Safeguard livelihoods, protect jobs and businesses, and help the most vulnerable in uncertain times;
• Invest now in public services and infrastructure for the future wellbeing of our country.
Budget 2021 is the biggest investment in the history of the State, at a time when we need it most. It will protect the lives and livelihoods of our people and meet the challenges of Covid and Brexit.
Investment breaks down as follows:
• €8.55 billion extra for spending on the impact of Covid;
• €3.7 billion extra for day-to-day spending;
• €1.6 billion extra for spending on schools, hospitals, roads and other projects in the National Development Plan;
• €3.4 billion for a Brexit-Covid Recovery Fund for 2021.
Protecting lives from the threat of Covid 19
• €2 billion for Covid health measures including PPE and Testing & Tracing, continuing with expanded hospital capacity, and temporary assistance scheme for nursing homes;
• €400,000 billion for Covid education measures including PPE and school transport, cutting the parent teacher ratio at primary level to 24:1, more than 1,000 special education teachers and 990 SNAs;
• Contingency measures for extra Covid related costs as they occur.
Safeguarding livelihoods, protecting jobs and businesses, and helping the most vulnerable in uncertain times
• Launching the Covid Restrictions Support Scheme (CRSS) for businesses which have closed temporarily or have significantly reduced turnover due to public health restrictions;
• Extending the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme for the whole of 2021;
• Cutting the VAT rate for hospitality and tourism from 13.5 to 9% from November 1st;
• Extending the commercial rates waiver to the end of 2020;
• A Christmas Bonus of 100% will be paid PUP and jobseekers recipients who have been on these payments for four months or more;
• Self-employed workers will be able to earn up to €480 a month gross without affecting their PUP payment;
• Investment in Hot Meals programme;
• €50m of financial assistance for full time third level students for the impact of the Covid pandemic;
• Pension Qualifying age to remain at 66 years;
• €5 increase in Living Alone Allowance, increase in Qualified Child Allowance and Fuel Allowance weekly welfare payments;
• Carers Support Grant increased by €150 to €1,850;
• 9,000 upskilling and re-skilling opportunities, extra 1,000 Springboard places;
• Increasing the ceiling of the second USC rate band to €20,687;
• Earned Income Credit increased by €150 to €1,650 (equalised with PAYE tax credit);
• Additional 15,000 HAP tenancies and 800 RAS tenancies;
• Extension of Help-To-Buy for an additional year;
• Additional €100 million for Brexit preparedness, total €350 million in Department estimates plus funding available from Recovery Fund as required;
• Extension of the tax debt warehousing scheme for employers and self-employed.
Investing now for the future well-being of our country
• Spending on new capital projects like schools, hospitals and roads will grow by €1.6 billion in 2021 (a 19% increase) to over €10.1 billion;
• €500 million extra investment for building projects in Department of Housing, Planning & Local Government (23%) including for social and affordable housing;
• Multi-annual capital funding of €300 million for Shared Island Initiative million to be provided over five years;
• Carbon tax revenue to fund retrofitting, biodiversity measures and alleviate fuel poverty.
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