The government have announced the budget for 2024 in a bid to tackle the current cost of living crisis.
Yesterday, October 10, the government announced the budget for 2024. Limerick Voice is bringing readers the major points from the announcement.
The total package is worth €14 billion, with a €1.1 billion tax package. The government have also introduced a once-off cost of living package worth €2.7 billion, alongside a €4.3 billion ‘Future Ireland Plan’, and a €2 billion climate and infrastructure fund.
A major issue for the citizens of Ireland – housing – has also been addressed in the budget, with a governmental pledge to spend €1.9 billion on building 9,300 social houses. The rental tax credit has also increased by €250 to €750.
The minimum wage is set to increase to €12.70 from January 2024, with the living wage increased by 6.9 per cent to €14.80 in the annual living wage report, released in September.
The Universal Social Contribution rate will be reduced to four per cent, meaning the average full-time worker will take home an extra €780 per year. Additionally, there is a planned nine per cent reduction in VAT on home energy.
The budget includes a support package for small businesses worth quarter of million euro to support this increase to the minimum wage.
Salon owner Majella Nolan spoke about this issue, saying: “The rates are down, they could’ve done more to encourage more people into employment. They could’ve improved the tax rate as I’m now finding it hard to get staff, because if they work five days, they go up to over 50%. They are doing a bit more for businesses but they could do more.”
There will be three grants paid to families over the Winter and Spring each worth €150 to help with energy costs. Parents leave will also increase from seven to nine weeks next year. The government have also said there will be a double child benefit payment in December.
There is a planned reduction in college student fees, which will reduce the cost by €1000. The renter’s tax credit is also expected to be extended to students once again. In second level education the free schoolbook scheme will be extended to third year students. Creche fees will be dropped by 25 per cent but this won’t come into effect until September 2024.
Finally, there will be a fee waiver for school transport for another year, with a €100 increase in the back-to-school clothing and footwear allowance also included in the 2024 budget. Hot school meals have been extended to all DEIS primary schools and state examinations fees have been waived.
Over €100 million in supports for beef and sheep sectors (€200/cow; €20/ewe). €8 million in support for tillage and a higher rate of TAM’s grant (70 per cent) for new tanks for those importing slurry (Nitrates Derogation measure).
The excise on petrol and diesel which were due to come into effect at the end of the month have been deferred with half beginning in April next year and the other half in August. However, the government have created a carbon tax which will cost 2.5 cents on diesel and 2.1 cents on petrol. This is all part of the government’s plan to get more people on public transport. Another measure driving incentive to public transport usage with reduced rates for 20-25 year olds.
The VAT on E-Books and audiobooks is due to be scrapped to align with hardback copies.
For people receiving social welfare they are due a double payment in December and January. Social welfare is also going to increase by €12 a week.
There will be a one off payment of €400 to carers and the disabled.
Surprisingly there isn’t going to be any increase in Vape or E-cigarettes until at least Budget 2025. Finally, like many previous budgets, the price of cigarettes will increase by 75c meaning the standard price of a 20 box is now €16.75.
A full breakdown of everything can be found on the Citizen’s Advice website.