Budget 2018: What’s in the offing
- Water refunds
- Welfare rises
- Christmas social welfare bonus
- Pension rises
The White Paper on estimated Receipts and Expenditure for 2018 has been published, and it shows the Government is planning to refund Irish Water charges and pay a Christmas Social Welfare bonus.
The document which forms part of the Budget process, shows a projection of revenues and spending for next year before any budget changes are introduced.
The White Paper also shows the budget deficit for this year will be a better than forecast 0.3% of GDP, while next year’s deficit is forecast to be 0%, a balanced budget.
The Government has indicated that it will pay a Christmas bonus to long-term Social Welfare clients by using a surplus in the social insurance fund for this year, and from existing resources in current spending.
Pensioners, carers and the disabled among others look set to get increases in the budget after government support party Fianna Fáil insisted rises “won’t be miserly”.
Government figures last night also confirmed a €5 increase for pensioners and others including the disabled was being discussed.
Budget measures under discussion
|A 50c cut to €2 for prescription costs is under discussion, as is a €20 monthly drug cost cap.|
|Across the board welfare rises of up to €5 for lone parents, dole recipients, and pensioners are being mooted, but may not begin until April or June.|
|A special social welfare payment for children living in poverty is being considered. Increased supports to childcare providers to go towards administration costs and funds to help expand or refurbish facilities.|
|USC will be cut but merged with PRSI, while the rate people enter the highest tax band will be increased.|
|Cigarettes and tobacco costs will rise again.|
|Moves to force nursing home residents to rent out or sell their homes have been scrapped. There will also be support for care packages to help people stay in their own homes.|
|A new anti-price-gouging hotel tax; gambling tax ring-fenced for addiction services; and hybrid cars tax relief may be introduced.|
The details will be announced on Tuesday when Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe delivers the Budget.