Irish Republican News · November 26, 2003
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
Budget 2004 - Main Points
The following are the main points of the 26-County Budget, from the speech in the Dail today by the Irish Minister of Finance, Charlie McCreevy.


  • Cigarettes to increase by 25 cent per pack of 20. Petrol and diesel to increase by 5 cent per litre
  • Social welfare payments to increase by €10 per week. Pensions to rise by €10 to €167.30 per week. Minimum maternity benefit up €10 per week. Family Income Supplement threshold up €28 a week. Widows'/widowers' pension to increase by €11.50 per week. Child benefit to increase by €6, and by €8 for third and subsequent children.
  • Eight Government departments to move to provincial locations. 10,300 civil service jobs to transfer to 53 centres in 25 counties. Compulsory retirement age of 65 to be removed for civil service.
  • GDP in 2004 to grow at 3.3%
  • Increase in employee tax credit at basic rate to €1,040 per annum
  • Tax exemption limits for 65 and over up to €15,500 (single) and €31,000 (married)
  • Rolling budgets introduced for spending in Government departments
  • Extra €30m for school buildings in 2004
  • €25m for placements and support services for disabled. Respite care grant up to €835 per annum.
  • Tax relief on trade union subscriptions increased from €130 to €200. Tax reliefs on construction projects underway extended to July 2006
  • Extension of Business Expansion Scheme scheme to December 2006
  • New income tax exemption for income received for Gaeltacht summer housing scheme

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© 2003 Irish Republican News