Politics and policies can seem very boring to the majority of us, however, when something is affecting you directly, I think we should know about it.
Every October, the Irish government set out the financial budget for the coming year. Usually led by the Minister of Finance, the budget embeds the latest tax cuts and increases, new taxes and essentially where the government will spend their money next year.
This year’s budget, led by Minister of Finance Paschal Donohoe was delivered on Tuesday 10th of October and here’s all you need to know:
So, the cost of alcohol is not set to rise in 2018 (YAY), however, cigarettes have risen by 50c since midnight Tuesday. Which means, if you’re a stress smoker like me, you’ll have to fork out about €12 for a box of 20 and about €15 for a 30g pouch of tobacco.
If you work part time on the evenings and weekends, you might see a little thing called USC on your payslip every week, followed by a slight reduction in your wages. USC or Universal Social Charge is a relatively new tax which is pretty much just another way for the government to take some more of your money each week/month. This years proposed budget will see the rate of USC you normally pay fall from 2.5% to 2%. However, the cap for this new rate is set to rise from €18,772 to €19,372. Which, in English means that you will pay less USC and will now be allowed to earn that bit more each year without your USC rate band being affected.
1. The Minister has introduced a new tax this year, the sugar tax *eep*. The sugar tax will be applied to all of our favourite sugar filled soft drinks and juices. This tax will see any drink with more than 8g of sugar per 100ml’s price rise by 30c and a reduced rate of 20c with between 5g and 8g per 100ml.
2. If you’re a hun who’s fond of staying bronzed all year round with the help of a sunbed, Paschal is about to ruin your days of €1 per minute. The budget will see the VAT rate on sunbed services nearly double, rising from 13.5% to 23%. This essentially means that your sunbed shop will pay more for the operation of their sunbeds and in turn, will probably charge you more to use them. This move is said to have been made due to the increased links between sunbeds and cancer. Maybe next time grab a bottle of Coco Brown ladies.
3. The homelessness spend is set to increase about 18 million this year, leaving the government with €116 million to help battle our current homelessness crisis.
4. The health budget will also see an increase in this year’s budget. The fund will be increases by 5% meaning there will be an available €15.3 billion to spend on healthcare reforms. The Minister has said this will also enable an 1,800-person recruitment across the mental health, disability, primary and community care sectors.
5. For any of you student teachers out there, the teacher to student ratio will fall from 27:1 to 26:1. An additional 1,000 teaching posts are to be created in the coming year also.
6. And last, but not least, this year’s budget has increased the minimum wage yaaaas. The increase will be 30c, seeing our hourly wage increase from €9.25 to €9.55 from January 1st, 2018.
Thankfully, this year’s budget did not see any kind of rise in 3rd level education costs and hopefully we won’t be seeing any in the years to come. Budgets, taxes and figures can all seem very boring, but at the end of the day, whatever the government decide, it’s going to affect your pocket one way or another. The more informed we are, the better decisions we can make, and the better decisions we make, the more money we have for the sesh, winning!