Budget 2019 - Main Points

October 9, 2018

Income Tax

  • Tax band increased by €750, raising it from €34,550 to €35,300 in the case of a single worker
  • The third rate of the Universal Social Charge (USC) was reduced from 4.75% to 4.5%
  • Mortgage interest relief for landlords will rise to 100% from January 1
  • Increase to home carer credit of €300
  • Earned income credit increased by €200

Social Welfare

  • €5 per week increase in all weekly social welfare payments, from next March
  • The 100% Christmas bonus payment to all social welfare recipients will be restored
  • Parental leave from Nov 2019, 2 extra weeks leave to every parent in child’s 1st year
  • Earnings disregard for one parent family payment to increase
  • Maintenance disregard for the working family payment to be introduced

VAT rate

  • The 9% VAT rate for hotels, restaurants and hairdressing will be increased to 13.5%
  • Retaining 9% rate for newspapers and reduction in the rate for electronic publication from 23% to 9%
  • Retaining 9% rate from sporting facilities


  • Increase in tax-free threshold to transfers from parents to children from €310,000 to €320,000

Business & SMEs

  • Corporation tax rate 12.5% rate will not be changing
  • Increase of 0.1% in employers PRSI
  • Introduction of exit tax at 12.5% where companies migrate their residence, effective midnight
  • Loan growth scheme for SMEs and agriculture/food €300m
  • Film Corporation tax credit extended to December 2024
  • Tax relief for start-up companies extended to end 2021
  • Work to begin on regulation of crowd funding

Minimum Wage

  • The hourly minimum wage will be increased to €9.80 from €9.55


  • Donohoe announced provision of over €110 million for Brexit measures across a number of Departments
  • €60 million in current and capital Brexit-related supports will be provided to improve resilience in the farm sector


  • An additional investment of €1.2 billion would be provided for Health
  • An additional €84 million will be provided for Mental Health Services in 2019
  • There will be a 50 cent reduction in prescription charges from €2.00 to €1.50 for all medical card holders over the age of 70
  • There will be a €25 increase in the weekly income threshold for GP Visit cards
  • There will be a €10 reduction in the monthly Drugs Payment Scheme threshold from €134 to €124


  • Additional 1,300 posts in schools in 2019
  • 950 Special Needs Assistants to be recruited in 2019


  • €2.3 billion to be allocated to the housing programme for 2019
  • Including  €1.25 billion for the delivery of 10,000 new social homes in 2019 through a combination of construction, acquisition and leasing
  • 6,000 affordable homes are to be delivered
  • Income eligibility limits of €50,000 for a single applicant and €75,000 for dual applicant households will apply


  • A pack of 20 cigarettes is being increased by 50 cents, bringing the price of cigarettes in the most popular price category to €12.70


  • The Garda budget is being increased by €60 million or 3.5%, allowing for recruitment of up to 800 Gardaí


  • A 1% surcharge for diesel vehicles to apply across all VRT bands
  • A new accelerated capital allowances scheme is being brought in for gas-propelled vehicles and refueling equipment, to encourage uptake


  • Increase in tax from 1% to 2% and duty on commission from 15% to 25%, all from 1 January