Irish Republican News · December 8, 2005
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
Budget 2006 - main points
The following are the main points of the annual budget for the 26-Counties, announced yesterday by Minister for Finance Brian Cowen.


• Standard tax band raised by €2,600

• Exemption limit on over-65s raised by €500 single, €1,000 married

• Tax changes will exempt minimum wage earners from income tax

• Personal tax credit raised by €50 and €100 for married couple

• Employee tax credit raised by €220

• Excise rates on alcohol, tobacco, petrol unchanged

• Lower income earners to be encouraged to invest in pensions

• Artists’ tax relief capped at €250,000

• Property investment tax reliefs on urban renewal schemes will expire in December 2006

• Tax relief on rent payments raised by 10%

• Health Levy raised from €400 to €440

• Respite care grant increased to €1,200

• Childminders exempt from PAYE, PRSI and levies on first €10,000 of income

• New early childcare supplement of €1,000 per year for each child under 6 to be paid quarterly. Payments begin in mid-2006

• Unpaid maternity leave extended by 4 weeks in 2006 and another 4 weeks in 2007. Total unpaid maternity leave to rise to 14 weeks by 2007

• Paid maternity leave extended by 4 weeks to 22 weeks in 2006 and to 26 weeks in 2007

• Childcare supplement for children under 6

• Maternity benefit raised from 75% to 80% of reckonable income

• Weekly fuel scheme raised from €9 to €14 per week

• An extra €150 million in care and support services for the elderly

• Monthly allowance for third and subsequent children increased to €185 per month

• Monthly allowance for first and second child raised to €150 per month

• Lowest full personal Social welfare payment will be €165.80

• First €100 of non-contributory pensioners’ income exempt from means testing

• Non-contributory pension raised by €16 to maximum of €182

• Old age pension raised by €14 to €193.30 per week

• Social Welfare payments will rise by €17 per week

• Social Welfare increases will cost €1,120 billion

• VAT registration threshold raised to €27,500 for service firms, €55,000 for manufacturers

• Carbon fund to be introduced with €20 million to purchase carbon credits

• Betting duty reduced to 1%.

• Heating oil excise duty reduced to match 6-county rate

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© 2005 Irish Republican News