Budget 2017 - the key points

The budget has good news for fishermen but smokers hit with 50 cent hike

Michael Daly


Michael Daly

Budget 2017 - the key points

Fishermen and the tourism sector have done well from the budget just announced, but smokers are being hit again.

The price of cigarettes is to rise by 50c from midnight tonight, bringing the cost of a 20-pack to about €11 - pro-rata increase in other tobacco products, such as pouches of rolling tobacco.

There will be a €1,270 income tax credit for fishermen. The KFO has welcomed the announcement by Minister Michael Noonan in his budget speech that he will introduce the seafarers allowance for those working on board fishing vessels. The effect of this change is to extend the Seafarers Allowance of €6,350 amounting to a tax credit of €1270 to workers on board fishing vessels.

Sean O Donoghue CEO said: “This is very good news and comes after many years of lobbying for its introduction and removes an anomaly in the Taxes Consolidation Act where those working on board fishing vessels were specifically excluded from claiming the allowance.

"The independent review of Marine Taxation carried out by Indecon consultants last year and published as part of the last year’s budget recommended the introduction of Seafarers allowance and a number of other marine taxation measures.

"I am pleased that Minister Noonan followed through on his commitment in last year’s budget to establishing the feasibility of their implementation in future Budgets by its introduction today. I would also like to recognise the support from Minister Creed and his officials and Pat the Cope Gallagher TD for all their work in bringing this measure finally to fruition.”  

Alcohol and petrol prices remain untouched but the Alcohol and Beverage Federation of Ireland (ABFI) has said the Government’s decision today not to reduce excise on alcohol in next year’s Budget is a missed opportunity for one Ireland’s largest indigenous sectors.


The budget at a glance

The price of cigarettes is to rise by 50c from midnight tonight, bringing the cost of a 20-pack to about €11 - pro-rata increase in other tobacco products, such as pouches of rolling tobacco.

Rural Development Programme funding is increased by €107m to €601m in 2017

9% VAT rate for tourism and hospitality industry will be retained

Start Your Own Business scheme to be extended for a further two years

Low cost, highly flexible loan fund for farmers announced

Help to Buy scheme announced for first-time buyers relating to newly-built homes

Home renovation scheme extended for two years to end of 2018

Rent-a-Room income ceiling up by €2,000 to €14,000

Lower three USC rates to be reduced by 0.5% - USC 1% rate cut to 0.5%; 3% rate cut to 2.5%; 5.5% rate cut to 5%

2.5% USC rate ceiling increased from €18,668 to €18,772

€100 increase in Home Carers' Credit to €1,100

DIRT will be reduced by 2% each year to 2020 (41% to 33%)

Mortgage Interest Relief will be extended beyond December 2017 to 2020

Earned Income Tax Credit for self-employed increased by €400 to €950

New relief from carbon tax for solid fuels announced

Intention to introduce tax on sugar-sweetened drinks in April 2018 after public consultation

€1.2bn in funding for housing, with 47,000 new social housing units by 2021

Additional €105m to enable 15,000 more households to avail of the Housing Assistance Payment Scheme

€28m increase in allocation for emergency accommodation to €100m

Medical card for all children who receive domiciliary care allowance

Additional €15m to NTPF to reduce hospital waiting lists

€25 cap on prescription charges for over 70s reduced to €20 from 1 March

€36.5m increase in funding for higher and further education

2,400 additional teaching posts announced, of which 900 will be resource teachers

Increased €497m spending for Health, bringing the total spend for 2017 to €14.6bn

Early Years funding to rise by 35% to €465m

New Single Affordable Childcare Scheme from September 2017 for children between six months and 15 years and universal subsidies for all children aged six months to three years.

State pension will rise by €5 from March

€5 increase in all weekly social welfare payments in line with state pension

€16m additional funding for Department of Defence

€52m for new Animal Welfare Scheme for Sheep

€15m to help progress National Broadband Plan

€90m for Renewable Heat Incentive, Better Energy Grants and Electric VehiclesSubsidy

Provision of €290m for pay increases agreed under the Lansdowne Road Agreement

Creation of a Public Service Pay Commission to report on unwinding of FEMPI legislation