The following are the main points of the fiscal changes announced this afternoon by 26 County Finance Minister Michael Noonan
* Top income tax reduced from 41% to 40%. Entry level for the top rate to tax increased by 1,000 euroto 33,800 euro
* Universal Social Charge (USC) - entry point brought up to 12,000 euro the 2% rate is reduced to 1.5% and the 4% rate is reduced to 3.5%.
* Two new USC rates - 8% on income over 70k euroand 11% on income over 100k euro
* Medical card holders and over-70s earning less than 60,000 euro liable to a maximum USC of 3.5 per cent
* 0.6 per cent pension levy to end in 2014; Additional 0.15 per cent levy to expire at end of 2015
* ‘Double Irish’ tax dodge for multinational corporations to be closed.
EXCISE, TOBACCO AND ALCOHOL:
* Cigarettes up 40c per pack, popular brands will cost 10 euro per pack. Roll-your own tobacco up 20c a pack.
* No increase in alcohol tax, or fuel.
* Water charges tax relief at standard rate (20%) up to 100 euro a year, claimed the following year.
* No cuts in social welfare
* Child benefit up by 5 europer child, will increase by another 5 euro next year.
* Living Alone Allowance for elderly up to 9 euro per week.
* Christmas bonus for welfare will begin again this year, at 25% extra.
* 80 per cent windfall tax on rezoned development land to be abolished
* Home renovation incentive will be extended for landlords to their rental properties