WHILE FINANCE MINISTER Michael Noonan won’t deliver Budget 2017 until early this afternoon, most of the headline announcements have already been revealed.
After the austerity budgets of recent years, today’s instalment will be tame in comparison as Noonan and his public expenditure counterpart, Paschal Donohoe, dole out a modest €1.2 billion in extra tax cuts and spending.
Here at Fora, we’ll be keeping you up-to-date with all the key news as it happens, while also providing more detailed analysis of some of the main points. But until then, here are the key things you need to know:
What’s in it for me?
- As previously detailed on this site, we’re expecting to see a few business-friendly measures in the budget - many of which were promised in the programme for government earlier this year
- Expect lower capital gains taxes for entrepreneurs, with the rate predicted to come down to 10% on the first €10 million earned from selling a business – in line with the UK’s offering
- The tax penalty for the self-employed should also be narrowed, with the earned income tax credit doubled to €1,100
- There could also be the announcement of a sugar tax, which the food and drinks lobby has been fighting, although it’s not likely to be introduced until 2018
- On a personal tax level, we can expect some minor tweaks to the USC bands - understood to be a 0.5% reduction on the first three bands - that will provide the average taxpayer with a few hundred euro in savings per year
- Somewhat controversially, there will be the anticipated move to offer first-home buyers a tax rebate, potentially worth up to €20,000 per couple
- Some business sectors can at best hope that measures affecting their bottom lines will go unchanged. That will be the case for the tourism industry, which wants to keep its 9% VAT rate
- Also unlikely to be cheering will be the drinks sector, which has been campaigning for excise duty to be cut to protect against weaker sterling. Expect the status quo to be maintained, although microbrewers could be in for a pleasant surprise
When is it and how can I find out more?
Noonan is scheduled to take the floor in the Dáil at 1pm, when he’ll set out the government’s tax policies.
Taking up the reins for the spending side of the equation, Donohoe will follow the finance minister’s speech, likely to be around 1.45pm.
We’ll be updating the key information you need to know throughout the day on the site, while you can also follow us on Twitter for the latest developments.
But if you have a spare few hours and plan watching the whole thing, you can tune in online at Oireachtas TV. RTÉ One will be broadcasting its usual budget special from 12.40pm.
The government also has a dedicated budget website, where you can see all the relevant documents – including the full text of the ministers’ speeches – as soon as they go live.
Meanwhile, if you want to know how the budget will affect you personally, a handy calculator accessible on our sister site, TheJournal.ie, will break it all down for you.