Budget 2017 is well underway & this is what we know so far;

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

€1,270 income tax credit for fishermen

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

Excise duty on pack of 20 cigarettes to go up by 50 cents

€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

Christmas bonus for those on social welfare will rise to 85%

€16m additional funding for Department of Defence

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

€52m for new Animal Welfare Scheme for Sheep

€15m to help progress National Broadband Plan

Funding for continued roll out of improvements and construction of national projects, including Gort to Tuam; Gorey to Enniscorthy, and New Ross bypass PPP projects

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

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

We will have a full update on this blog tomorrow of the issues we feel are important to highlight.