Budget 2023: Here’s a quick guide to everything you need to know today
It might put a few quid back in your pocket.
If only briefly.
Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe and Public Expenditure Minister Michael McGrath have announced the details of the €10bn budget in the Dáil this afternoon
Described by Tánaiste Leo Varadkar as a “cost of living budget designed to help you and your family”, the final plan does indeed have plenty of positives for renters, struggling families and households facing soaring energy bills this winter.
In his speech, Minister Donohoe said the country has “recovered strongly from the effects of the pandemic” and attributed much of the recovery “to the careful management this government is undertaking and appropriate responses to the unique challenges that our country faced.”
Taoiseach Micheál Martin said the package is sustainable and designed to “get people through this winter in the teeth of this unprecedented crisis, but also make sure we have the reserves to get through the entirety of 2023 as well.”
Here’s a handy breakdown:
Stretched mums and dads can expect a double child benefit payment paid before Christmas, as well as a 25 percent reduction in the cost of childcare for those using the national childcare scheme.
At third level, there’s a €1000 reduction in college fees.
Cost of living
All households in Ireland will receive a €600 electricity bill credit.
The Fuel Allowance scheme will be extended, making a further 80,000 people eligible. Current Fuel Allowance recipients will get a €400 lump sum payment.
Social welfare payments will increase by €12.
People receiving social welfare payments will get a double payment in the coming weeks, as well as a second double payment before Christmas.
A one-off payment of €500 will be paid to carers and people with disabilities.
People renting homes in Ireland will be given €1,000 in tax relief before the end of 2023. Renters will get a €500 tax credit this year and another €500 tax credit next year.
Donohoe says the payment “is aimed at those who do not get any other housing supports and will apply for 2023 and for subsequent years”.
The Help-to-Buy Scheme, running since 2017, is being extended for another two years.
Vacant Homes Tax
A new Vacant Homes Tax (VHT) designed to increase the supply of homes for rent or purchase will see property owners with vacant houses charged three times the property’s base Local Property Tax rate.
Minister @Paschald has announced the introduction of a Vacant Homes Tax (VHT) to increase the supply of homes for rent or purchase. #Budget2023 #HousingForAll pic.twitter.com/Ey9RprqLyC
— Department of Finance (@IRLDeptFinance) September 27, 2022
The measures include free school books for all primary school children starting in September 2023, saving families around €100 per child each year.
Minister for Education Norma Foley has also secured a further reduction in class sizes and improvements to the school bus system.
Minister McGrath has also announced additional funding for more SNAs and teachers.
Third-level fees will be slashed by €1,000 and students will also receive a once-off double payment of the student grant.
Anyone studying for a PHD will also receive a small boost before Christmas in the shape of a once-off cost-of-living payment.
Funding has been made available for 1,000 new gardaí to begin training in Templemore in 2023. A further 400 new Garda staff will be hired to ease the pressure on frontline gardaí, who will also benefit from a bump in overtime.
The VAT rate for hospitality is set to remain at the nine percent set during the pandemic… but only until the end of February.
In better news for struggling businesses, the Temporary Business Energy Support Scheme (TBESS) will help businesses pay up to 40 percent of their energy bills until February, backdated to the start of September, up to a monthly cap of €10,000.
The price of a pint
No new taxes have been added to alcohol in Budget ’23. The price of a pint remains the same.
The price of a box of cigarettes will rise again by 50c. Smokers will be paying around €15.50 for a pack of 20 cigarettes from midnight tonight.
The GP visit card scheme is to be expanded, with means testing making more than 430,000 people eligible for free doctor visits.
Hospital charges will also be scrapped for all adults.
Mental health funding is to be increased by €58 million.