Tag Archives: Budget 2019

This morning.

At the Grangegorman Primary Care Centre in Dublin.

Minister for Health Simon Harris and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar hold giant-sized cardboard ‘medical cards’ to launch the Budget 2019 changes which come into effect this week and next week.

Changes include a €10 reduction in the monthly Drugs Payment Scheme threshold from €134 to €124; a 10 per cent increase across all GP visit card weekly income thresholds; and a reduction in prescription charges from €2 to €1.50 for all medical card holders over the age of 70.


Leah Farrell/Rollingnews


From top: Minister For Finance Paschal Donohoe; Vanessa Foran

 Derek Mooney was right, I know that doesn’t get said about here a lot, but he was right to question the need for the Red Carpet Event around the Annual Budget

But then I suppose RTÉ would be bereft of 50 hours or so of programming across their various platforms and deprived of scooped soundbites direct from Government Ministers.

This Budget was undramatic, unexciting and just too well flagged that it became irritatingly boring; like compulsory Ethics hours for those of us that have to oblige annual CPD requirements.

Similar to last year , I have handpicked some elements to highlight here, but it was impossible stay ignorant on the squeals that it was a budget for Landlords.

Anyone that has followed my view on the rented sector will have heard me insist that we need more Rental Units, and more again, but more specifically we need more rental units from Private Landlords and less from Reit type lettings.

We have an accommodation emergency; the time for calling it a crisis or a shortage has long since passed. Up to now, private sole-trader type landlords were departing the sector like flocks heading South.

Therefore, I’m of the opinion that relieving their tax burden is a good thing, and hopefully it might encourage more Buy-To-Let investors into the sector.

By the same measure, this move might also serve to reassure those in there already, the lads that do not have the benefit of being incorporated and en’Trusted, or party to cheap sale prices and charitable tax rates.

More Units mean more HAP availability, so there’s that too, despite my reservations on that whole scheme, if it keeps families out of hotels then let’s not fix it just yet.

Since I mentioned Reit, it is worth mentioning now that the Exit Tax Regime was addressed with new Foreign Controlled Corporation Rules.

Many easy shots and sneers at this will mention it was reduced from 33% to 12.5%, but what might be missed was that the drop came with a nice sidebar; the exemptions to the Exit tax (which is also due on the transfer of assets and not just when they cease to be tax residents) have been removed; in full.

And as we all well know exemptions in Tax Law have made many a man a millionaire or more. I’ll take 12.5% on everything, rather than 33% of feck all any day of the week.

While I still think the hotel sector are being bailed out unfairly to the rest of us, I also want to reintroduce something from last year’s comments that is still ticking me off, Employers PRSI.

Many of you will say the increase is only by one tenth of a % – a so-what-of-it perhaps; but anything that shoehorns employees into Sub-Contracting arrangements, while keeping the PRSI frameworks as they are for the purposes of current cashflow, is not good long-term strategy, nor is it good value-for-money for the taxpayers that fill those Social Insurance reservoirs.

Budget ’19 did offer something for those who may be qualify for distributions from the Bank of Mum and Dad; they got themselves a ten grand top up to their (Group A) Gift Tax exemption.

This Government had a summer long of opportunity to address what I think is one of the principle failures of our Housing and Accommodation emergency; Long-term Rental in the family Home Sector not being considered as a viable option, or even as an alternative to Social Housing or Owner Occupied.

It is my opinion this is a sector that should be studied and trailed and tested.

This city is falling over with associations and groups representing tenants and renters; yet I have yet to see any organisation come up with an approach to Affordable Rental Housing that makes it a confident long-term option or choice for anyone.

And since the Government hasn’t, then naturally neither has any one else interested in long-term investments.

I suspect we will have another Budget within the next nine months. Like last year’s, this was not an election budget.

My advocacy for a stronger, wider, healthier, and more competitive private Rental sector will continue, and I will keep shouting until someone in Government cops on that Social Housing needs to be Local and needs to go back to the Local Authorities.

Then we can start to Rebuild this Country on behalf of all of us.

Vanessa Foran is a principal at Recovery Partners. Follow Vanessa on Twitter: @vef_pip.


Bewildered Student writes

Following on from your item [RTÉ omitting the landlord tax relief measure in the budget from their news last night], consider this gem. It’s quite breathtaking.

Did you know that this year 5 million will be taken FROM the Social Welfare budget to account for the free TV licences given to senior citizens.

You certainly won’t know from following RTÉ’s budget coverage (see above).

Now, see if you can watch [RTÉ News’ Economics Correspondent] Sean Whelan (above) deliver the ‘good’ Social Welfare budget news without hitting your screen.


Earlier: Ask A Broadsheet Renter

Earlier this morning.

Fine Gael tweeted:

Coming to a radio show near you this morning. Tune in from 9am on your local station. .


This morning.

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe (left) and Sean O’Rourke during a live Budget 2019 special on RTE Radio One.

*playful scratch, tickles tummy, etc.*


Budget 2019 speech broadcast in Arnotts, Dublin  this afternoon

During his Budget 2019 speech, Minister for Finance Paschal Donohue promised increasing the planned funding of the affordable housing scheme from €20 million to €89 million,  facilitating the delivery of  ‘6,000 affordable homes’.

The Irish Council for Social Housing (ICSH) has questioned it merits and said that the Government’s failure to introduce an affordable rental scheme “is evidence of a lack of vision and housing policy that is failing to evolve”.

It believes the scheme should be restricted to areas where housing costs are most acute. House prices are above €200,000 in only 11 Local Authority Areas.

The Programme for Government 2016 committed to introducing a “new model of affordable rental housing”.

ICSH chief executive Dr Donal McManus said:

“Budget 2019 affordable housing purchase proposals will provide relief for a percentage of households. However, the real requirement is for affordable rental accommodation.

This Budget could have been a watershed moment for Irish housing policy with the potential to kickstart a fresh approach and new thinking on housing if a significant programme for affordable rental accommodation had been introduced alongside these measures”

Of the Rebuilding Ireland social housing targets for 2019, Dr McManus said:

“Today’s budget announcement for the delivery of almost 10,000 social homes in 2019 is welcome.

However, the targets haven’t been increased.

Our housing association members are ready to deliver on targets. The current social housing construction pipeline for housing associations is at 6,305, representing almost 40% of the national total of 16,351 (Quarter 2 2018).”

Irish Council For Social Housing

€470 million extra allocated to housing (RTÉ)

Earlier: The Money Shot

This afternoon.

At Government Buildings.

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe poses with his Budget 2019.

Mr Donohoe will deliver his budget to the Dáil at 1pm.

Sam Boal/Rollingnews


He can be watched live in the video link above.


Earlier: Derek Mooney: No Budget Surprises Anymore

This afternoon.

Royal College of Physicians Ireland, Kildare Street, Dublin 2.

The Launch of the Labour Party’s alternative Budget 2019 document, Building A New Republic.

Above from left: Senator Aodhan O Riordain, Deputy leader Alan Kelly, Senator Ivana Bacik,  Labour Party leader Brendan Howlin, Senator Kevin Humphreys and Jan O Sullivan.

Labour to Launch Alternative Budger (Labour)




This afternoon.

Government Buildings, Merrion Street, Dublin 2

Social Democrats member Catherine Stocker and her son Theo (top) joined the party’s co-leaders, Catherine Murphy and Róísín Shortall (above centre) alongside councillors and spokespeople during the launch of the Social Democrats Alternative Budget 2019.

Social Democrats

Leon Farrell/Rollingnews