Budget 2014 – in summary

Link to official summary of budget measures

Public sector numbers

  • The minister for Public Expenditure & Reform, Brendan Howlin, announced that 2014 would see an increase in public sector numbers which he described as a ‘reform dividend’, and said this had been made possible by savings delivered across the whole of public service. Read IMPACT reaction HERE.
  • As a result, he announced there would be some recruitment in schools, health services and gardaí in 2014. The minister is to publish a revised public service plan by end of this  year, which he said would focus on “service delivery and outcomes.”
  • Increased staff for the Garda vetting service, and new Garda recruitment programme next year.

Education

  • 1,250 new classroom and resource teachers in 2014
  • No increase in class sizes in primary or secondary schools
  • The Department of Education and Skills is to receive €5 million from the proceeds of the National Lottery Licence transaction to allow primary schools to invest in book rental schemes.
  • Spending on the DEIS scheme has been ring-fenced with no changes to staffing or funding of disadvantaged schools.
  • Spending on supports for children with special educational needs remains at €1.3 billion.

Taxes and charges

  • There are no increases to income tax, the universal social charge, and no increase in duty on petrol, diesel, home heating oil or gas.
  • There will be no increase VAT in 2014 and the air travel tax will be abolished from April 2014.
  • Beer and spirits measures up by 10c, wine up 50 cent per 75cl bottle.
  • All tax relief on ex gratia lump sum payments has been abolished.

 Social protection

  • No changes to child benefit payments
  • No changes to the rate or duration of fuel allowance.

Other measures

  • Maternity benefit payments standardised at €230 a week – a reduction for some.
  • Single parent tax credit to be replaced with single person credit for principal carer only
  • Medical insurance tax relief has been capped at €1000 per adult, and €500 per child
  • A free GP scheme for children aged 5 and under is to be initiated
  • Home renovation tax incentive scheme will give tax credit to homeowners carrying out works on their homes in 2014 and 2015