Budget 2017 – What Happened ?

Budget 2017  was announced  on October 11th 2016. Here is a summary of what happenend compared to what we forecast.
If you are looking for details of the most recent Budget 2018 which will be announced in October 2017 go HERE.

Check our page giving a more detailed Summary of Budget 2017 Details

USC  Reductions:  We knew there would be some reductions in USC in Budget 2017 .  The  FF manifesto  said they would aim to abolish USC for earnings under €80,000 but charge 8% USC on income over that. FG said they planned to reduce the main rate from 5.5% to 4.5% in 2017 followed by a gradual phasing out of USC by 2021.
The program for government just stated that ” Reductions will be
introduced on a fair basis with an emphasis on low and middle income earners..”
The Dept of Finance  recommended  increasing the entry threshold for USC from €13,000 to €14,000 .
What happened ?  There was a 0.5% cut to the three lower rates of USC so they go down to 5% , 2.5pc and 0.5pc respectively)

Income Tax increase for high earners:  Both the FF and FG manifestos proposed  to remove the PAYE tax credit of €1650 for those earning over €100k . FF also planned to reduce it for those earning over €70k. Removal of this tax credit would result in employees paying €1650 a year more in income tax (€137.50 a month).   What HappenedNothing

Reduced Income Tax for Self Employed :  The new program for government states that the “Earned Income Tax Credit will be raised from €550 to  €1,650 for the self-employed  by 2018.”   So we expected an increase to about €1100 in Budget 2017.  What Happened in Budget 2017 – it was increased to €950

DIRT – The Tax Strategy Group has suggested a drop in DIRT  from 41% to 40% .
What Happened ?   DIRT was cut to 39% with further cuts promised.

Landlords :  We expected the percentage of mortgage interest that can be claimed as ane expense by landlords to be increased from 75%.
What Happened ? It was increased to 80% in Budget 2017.

Help to Buy -we knew some sort of help to buy scheme would be introduced in 2017 .
What Happenend ?   An income tax refund was introduced in Budget 2017 to assist first time home buyers . It only applies to brand new homes , not second hand ones.  Reports say that it will be capped  at around €20,000 and will be based on a 5% of the house price.

The Home Carer Tax Credit   . FF promised to increase it from €1,000 to €2,000. FG said they would  increase it  to 1,650, while also increasing from €7,200 to €10,500 the income exemption.   The Dept of Finance suggested it should be increased to just €1100 .
What Happened ?  – It was increased by just €100

Capital Acquisitions Tax
The threshold  on Band A  is was expected to be be raised from €280k to €500k over the next few years. (this band includes all gifts and inheritances from parents to their children).   . What Happened ?   It was increased to €310,000 in 2017 – with 8% increases on other thresholds.

Cigarettes : We knew there would be higher excise duties on cigarettes.
What Happened ?  They were increased by 50c per pack of 20.

Diesel : Duty on diesel was  a prime candidate for an increase to bring it closer in line with the duty on Petrol.
What Happened? – No Change

A new Sugar Tax –  This was in the Fianna Fail manifesto –  they planned  a tax on sugar in sweetened drinks that would add an average six cent to a can .
What Happened?  It was announced , but won’t begin until 2018 after consultation.

Welfare and Pensions  :
We expected some  increases in Budget 2017 to Pensions and some Benefits.following :
What Happened?  All pensions and benefits were increased by €5 – but the increases will be from March, not January 2017.

The Christmas Welfare Bonus will be 85% for 2016

The extenion of entitlement to a medical card to  all children in receipt of the Domiciliary Care Allowance  was well publicised – and did happen in Budget 2017  .

We expected a new “Working Family Payment” to be announced . (Possibly not in place  until 2018).  The FG manifesto stated that this would be a payment to ensure parents working over 15 hrs week get €11.75 per hour min.
What Happened? – Nothing.

Help with Childcare Payments

We were expecting a new subsidy scheme for childcare  in Budget 2017 – for possible implementation by September 2017.
What Happened ?  You can find a detailed outline of the new Childcare subsidy here.

Education :

An increase in third level fees and the introduction of a student loan scheme has been a possibility for a few years – and we thought Budget 2017 might see some changes announced  in that area.
What Happened ? – Nothing

School Transport – There is an ongoing review of the School Transport scheme and the charges and concessions.  We expecedt any changes to be announced in Budget 2017.
What Happened ? – Nothing .

Minimum Wage
The Low Pay Commission has  recommended an increase in the national minimum wage of 10 cents per hour. ( New rate of €9.25 per hour. )  If this is accepted by government we expected it would probably also be announced as part of Budget 2017
What Happened?  It wasn’t really announced  – but it was mentioned in the documentation.


69 thoughts on “Budget 2017 – What Happened ?

  1. No mention of returning the lone parent tax credit to unmarried fathers .I have two children and play a big part in both their lives.they stay over and I pay good maintenance. But I have the same tax credit as an 18 year old in his/her first job.Michael noonan has forgotten us

    • how is fair that the mother who is receiving maintenance also gets an automatic increase in her tax credits a double payment !!!! yet the unmarried father AGAIN gets screwed….never mind the fact that he contributes to the childs clothing,schooling weekends,holidays…no justice for unmarried fathers in this country

    • Brian, see answer to jim above. Credits go to he/she who actually maintains the children. You do have a case however to deserve a portion of those credits in direct proportion to the financial provision you are obliged to make towards the assessed total maintenance required to support the children you fathered.

  2. So its not enough that high earners pay a nominal rate of i think 52%tax, effectively giving away more than half of what they earn, they are to be taxed even further ? Is that even possible? Literally punishing those who try to make sonething of themselves. The government is saying ‘ hey dont bother educating yourself so you get a good job, we will rob you blind if you do’

    • No, Robbed Blind, you do not “give away more than half of what (you) earn. you pay it on every euro you earn ABOVE AN ALLOWED FIGURE which is taxed at 20% and another threshold earnings BELOW WHICH are not taxed at all. Look up the Revenue tax tables to check out what that untaxed portion amounts to. And also how much is taxed at 20%. Then ask Revenue to send you an assessment for each of the years you’ve worked – you’ll then know and not have to guess. Also, you should enquire how your taxes are used – see publicpolicy.ie for lots of information about the latter. All that said, there are limits to what high earners should be expected to transfer to the low earners, otherwise what’s the point, let’s all be low earners and be in poverty ‘cos there are no high earners -OK?

  3. It is not a level playing field for all people. I get a UK Pension. I am means-Tested on my £200.00 Winter fuel allowance. While others are not. A lot of people are getting the UK winter fuel allowance, Plus the Irish fuel allowance, But we all have only one home to heat. It is time this loop hole was locked/

  4. Its very unfair that i am been taxed as a single person when i have children of which i have to and want to to maintain. Why cant the tax credit be returned to divorced/seperated fathers

    • i agree jim , it was a cruel blow , and maybe it should only be paid to parents who do maintain their children!!

    • jim, because the tax credits go to the parent that actually maintains them, not to those that would like to do so. Simple

      • Educate yourself Barry.

        A father paying maintenance is maintaining his child

  5. People can’t survive on 9.25 an hour for God’s sake . I’m doing my living best to pay bill’s keep my kids and help my partner threw college because he is under 23 and has not been living at home for 5 years but yet eye think it’s ok to be assets under his parents wages . Are the government completely stupid he’s out there trying to better himself and punished at the same time .

    • elisha, seems like you may have taken on responsibilities before you worked out you couldn’t afford them. The minimum wage sets a floor for SINGLE people (who will probably, if they’ve sense try to better themselves, like your partner). It is not designed to support a family with kids. WEe get paid according to the value of our work, not according to the size of our family. Time to rethink.

  6. Ireland.s Call
    A Law For The Rich And Another Law For The Poor.
    It does not matter what party are in power.
    Labour proved that…Thieves and legalised robbers ….
    This country needs a Revolation..

    • Yes, it seems the law for the rich who have worked for their pay is to subsidise the poor who haven’t. The law for the poor is to better themselves by qualifying themselves for work that pays enough so that they can escape the law for the incapacitated poor and strive to come under the law for the rich. If there’s not enough rich people then the poor stay poor unless they strive to qualify for better work. Simple. If you don’t want to make the effort to qualify yourself you will remain poor. In essence, there should be two laws for the poor with only the incapacitated getting assistance, not those that can’t be bothered.

  7. It is time the exchange rate was changed, For people who are getting a UK pension, I get a UK pension, I am means-Tested for 14.00 Euro more than what i get from the UK, Noonan murdered murdered people when he was in charge of health, Now he is getting away with murder. It is time he was put out to grass, Or locked up.

    • Silly comments. Clearly has no understanding of how things work. I get a pension from the UK which is now 14% less than before the Brexit vote. Have to take it like a man. The Irish government doesn’t set exchange rates.

      • No the Irish government does not set exchange rates, But the are the EU does. And the Irish government does every thing that the EU tell them too. Does it not seem more silly, To be means-tested on an income that you do not get. In other words to be means-tested for a 192 Euro. When i only get 171 Euro, The are stealing 21 Euro a week. It is you who is the silly ass. No wonder that Ireland is in the state that it is in. There are tens of thousands of Irish people getting a full Irish pension, Plus some UK pension.But are the means-tested. And the same people are getting both Irish fuel allowance and UK fuel allowance. I myself are means-tested on my UK winter fuel allowance. As i only get a top up pension here in Ireland, And that is all that i want. But i can not get that, Because i am being stolen from by the department of social welfare. So Barry have you been honest when making your claim.

      • Hi Patrick
        I understand your issue with the exchange rates used by Social Welfare for means testing. Apparently they use the average of the daily exchange rate in the first month of a quarter. This rate is then used in all conversions during the course of the succeeding quarter.
        This can work out good sometimes and bad other times for means testing. It is possible to appeal means test decisions – maybe you should try that in light of the sterling weakness. See here for more info https://www.kildarestreet.com/wrans/?id=2008-04-17.1870.0

      • Silly ass. You never replied if you were honest when making your claim for a pension in Ireland. I worked for my full 30 years to get a full UK pension. But i am not getting it. Because the EU rates are not the same as the bank exchange rates. You have no idea what you are talking about, You are only an Ass

  8. There was talk of helping parents with creche fees via means testing, do you think this will be introduced this year?

    • Hi Zoe – it will probably be announced in the Budget but it won’t be starting until at least Sept 2017

    • I don’t think the government has money to help parents with crèches. Its a parent discrimination. They think only how to increase the social welfare for people who are sitting at home ages and don’t want to look for a jobs, lazy b….
      They should pay at least 500 euro extra childcare to help parents to get the babies to crèche or they need to start to build free crèche . Because with 9.25 h rate its impossible to live and pay mortgage and crèche. Its crazy!!!

      • There is supposed to be an announcement n Budget 2017 about financial help with childcare. So things might get better – hopefully ?

      • Karalina you are so discriminative I worked all my life till my first child who needed twenty four hour care to say that people are sitting in their bums is plain wrong my child needs a specially adapted house not his fault or mine stop being bitter n get on with it

      • Answer stop having so many children people need to take responsibility for their actions.nobody asked them to have kids why we are paid to have children I can never understand

  9. why should a couple not get a tax allowance if they are working and paying high rent. How can they save for a house.

  10. disability allowance is not enough as everything keeps going up especially food and presciptions so I think we should get enough to cover these costs, the allowance should go up by 50 euros per week so the wheels turn easier for everyone, also the prescription charges dropped altogether. the government wants a kick up the ass and get things done a bit faster as I think they are a waste of space.

    • From my experience living in ireland i both agree and disagree with your statement. I have witnessed the disabelled getting robbed, used and abused for their payments

      • I agree with you when on disability you are entitled to work x amount of hours and as for €50 thats a joke everyone is struggling not just people on disability

    • It’s unfair that carers and disability allowance is not getting any increase again. And putting up cigarette prices is a disgrace there already the most expensive in the world here in ireland 90% is taxed, same with fuel these should be reduced if anything, and the nanny state sugar tax to rip us off further will apply to everything with sugar in it soon enough. We are been taxed into our graves

  11. Is there a chance that tax-free allowance for renting out room is raised? It’ll help students looking for accomodation .

  12. Any possibility of an increase in the 12k rent a room tax break. In Dublin now this will cover just one room so if you have 2 rooms it makes no sense to let the second one as
    the 52% marginal tax rate will hit the full amount. Net affect is the second room letting will cost you money!! Its completely stupid to set up a system like that given the astonishing shortage of housing.

  13. Cut out USC? But sure that money will only be taken from somewhere else to make up the shortfall, better the devil you know I think.

    • Better the devil you know .No it was a recession tax invented that did not exist before and is penalising the people who work in Ireland unfairly triple taxation

  14. Money Guide has given me the correct answer, I thank you for this, A review has already been asked for by myself, I will await the out come, As there is a new exchange in place from the first of October. I was only trying to get it across to Barry. That he is giving advice that is wrong. Take it like a man, He has no idea,

  15. I would like to ask why isn’t the living alone allowance paid to people under the age of 66, I find that I am Benn discriminated against, I don’t want to be on Social Welfare I am trying hard to get into the work force but at the moment I am having no success but ill keep trying I have do CE and tus schemes as well as computer courses, updated my safe pass and renewed my Forklift License and I was told at one interview that I was to old for the position of bar man I am only 50 years old.

  16. If the tax free threshold in group A for inheritance or gift tax is being raised from 280,000 to 320,000 for parents to children is it likely that the group B threshold for uncle to nephew will also increase?

  17. I would like to advise people who are getting a UK pension. To write to Sligo to ask for a review, I myself did this. I get a full UK pension, And i only get a top up pension from Ireland. I was being means-Tested at 1,34. And the new EU rate is now 1.18. And again in January 2017 it will be 1.13, As the department of pensions are 3 months behind with the exchange rates set by the EU on the first day of each quarter. So if you are getting a top up pension here in Ireland and you have declared the correct amount to date that you get from the UK ask for a review, By the way if you get the UK winter fuel allowance that is also Means-Tested.

  18. When the government will start to think about mothers with small children? If you want to keep 6 moths maternity leave, please provide the government free crèches like in all European countries, but not charged over 1000 euro per month per child. . After 6 months mothers wants to come back to work but cannot because the government cannot provide any places where we can leave the babies. Its absolutely discrimination due to mothers and babies!!! What is 140 euro for a baby??? Its absolutely crazy and unfair. The government should build the free crèches not social houses for people who are sitting and waiting for free house and even not interested in looking for job.
    The government thinks and take care about people who are sitting at home ages and not interested in looking for a job. In European countries unemployment people receive only 10 months social money and after that’s your problem how you will leave. People are more motivated to look for a jobs but not sitting at home and spending social money. I think the government has to stop to pay people social welfare who are not looking for a work.
    One more thing about the medicine. It would be so nice if the government made a new medicine tax like in UK. You pay the tax and go to see yourself and all family members GP for FREE!!! Especially children till 16.

    • I agree with u.
      Have the same problem.
      Cant back to work coz creche is to expensive for 2 childrens

    • Can you name these countries? I live in Spain and the government creches aren’t free unless you qualify for a grant. No children’s allowance to help pay for the creche either and wages are considerable lower

  19. I have a daughter in creche, and I work full time. I’m just getting above the minimum wage. I pay 800 Euro a month with the creche alone and I live in Clare. We are just above water, lucky to have the bare essentials week by week. Everything is going up and not to mention the rent. We can’t even get on the property ladder. It’s a great country but by Christ it is expensive.

    • Is your partner working? You may find becoming a stay at home mother and your partner getting the tax credits (including the home carer allowance) leaves you as well if not better off financially

  20. We need help with childcare, make it affordable now!! not September 2017 a year from now.

    • Childcare workers still on min wage in parts of the country even after 2 years of full time college

    • It’s of no use this childcare initiative by the government – because for instance there is no creche near us to access….. none.
      There is one in another village but they don’t have any way of transporting kids to & from school. So pointless putting the kids in there.
      This might suit city / towns etc, if creche places are available, but as we know there is a huge lack of availability of places. Not much good to a large percentage of parents – again…..

      • Research before buying your house is really the answer, you probable have a bigger house that cost less than mine but I have facilities close by.

        That’s kinda the reality of the decisions we made

  21. Just wondering how the student loan scheme would work. Would it replace btea or susi grants?

    • Hopefully – means tested grants will still be available for some less well off students. If they copy the UK – then it will probably mean that means tested grants will be available – but loans will be reduced by any grant amount.
      In the UK – people on benefits can get a grant and a loan – so it may be similar here if/when it happens.

  22. What about the widows pension that hasn’t gone up in years since it was cut back in ,2007/8

    • Th eSocial Protection minister has been reported as saying there will be increases for ” widows, those on blind pension, carers and disabled ” as well as old age pensioners. We have updated the article to show this. THanks

  23. wow a lot of things have change sense I left many years ago. I was back in March of this year for 2 weeks. I have been back 2 other times and for the first time I am home sick after returning. while there I fine out you cant cut turf anymore, and many people are not milking cows, mostly all farms has sheep now. Property taxes and the best one of all water charges where it rain everyday. remember tax never gets cut and goes up every year which would explain why the first time home owner buyer scheme is there.
    the more your home is worth the more in property taxes have a market full of homes and no buyers house values drop and so does taxes. still researching but you have a acting government but Ireland is ruled by the EU. so the Government answer to the EU and not the people who elected them. another thing why is board na mona allowed to cut turf with big machine and the man going to the bog with a slane is doing more harm than board na mona.

  24. The five euro increase in social welfare payments for 2017. Is not enough to cover for the water rates that i paid in 2016. And this is the case for every person getting disability or pensions.

  25. Why should I not be able to receive fuel allowance, and a TV free licence, like all other Seniour Pension person because my son still lives with us because he cannot afford a place of his own? We do not receive any money’s from him,

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