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What does Budget 2023 do for me?

Words: Eva O’Beirne, Ellen Kenny
Image: Unsplash

What the f*ck is a renters tax credit?

So you’ve seen all the headlines and the tweets about the Budget yesterday. The debt per person ratio in Ireland is now 44,000 euro for every person in the country – one of the highest in the world.

But what does it all mean? How exactly can you benefit from all the new measures, once-off payments and tax credits? We’ve compiled a one-stop shop for all Budget 2023 queries, so get scrolling to find out more.

What does it do for renters?

A 1,000 euro tax break spread over 2022 and 2023 will be made available to renters. Individuals in a rented flat, a shared rental or student accommodation can claim the tax credit. The credit can be claimed through Revenue with other tax credits. This is an individual tax credit specific to you and the amount of tax you pay, even if you’re in a shared house or student accommodation.

The question remains – if landlords are aware that their tenants have an increased tax break, will they simply increase the rent?

Housing Charity Threshold has criticised the tax break, noting that a 500 euro annual tax credit amounts to an average of seven days rent in Dublin.

Concerns were also raised when Minister for Finance Pascal Donohoe confirmed that your landlord must register your property with the Residential Tenancies Board in order for tenants to claim the tax credit. Of course, recent months has showed us that landlords are not always keen to register their rental properties.

215 million euro for homelessness services and 87 million euro for retrofitting of Social Housing in 2023 was also announced. Funding will also be made available to support 8,800 new Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) tenancies, as well as 800 Rental Accommodation Scheme (RAS) tenancies.

A vacant home tax will apply to properties occupied for less than 30 days in a 12-month period.

What does it do for arts, culture and creatives?

A total of 1.14 billion euro has been allocated to the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sports and Media.

The Government plans to expand their support of arts, artists and the arts sector as a whole including the Basic Income for the Arts Pilot but has not indicated when this will occur.

The National Campaign for the Arts (NCFA) has welcomed the budget measures, noting that the funding of 6.6 million euro for Culture Ireland will address the increased costs of touring abroad and enable Irish artists to continue to showcase their work across the globe.

The sustained investment in Creative Ireland, and the securing of the ongoing trial of Basic Income for the Arts was also warmly welcomed by NCFA.

However, Angela Dorgan, Chair of NCFA commented on where the Budget can be improved further to support the arts: “While we celebrate the continued investment of 130 million euro in the Arts Council for 2023, which is the key mechanism for the funding of art, artists, arts workers and arts organisations right across the country, it is frustrating that this figure has not increased in line with the other spending increases included in Budget 2023.”

What does it do for parents and families?

There will be a 12 euro per week increase in all social welfare rates in the new year, along with a special once-off 500 euro payment for carers and people with disabilities this year.

However, due to inflation being at 9.1 per cent currently, a 12 euro increase works out at a real-time cut of 7 euro.

There will be two double payments of welfare rates between now and the end of the year.

Parents will also receive double payment of the monthly Child Benefit, and parents of primary school children will be able to access free schoolbooks from next September.

What does it do for my health?

225 million euro will be invested in “tackling waiting lists”, while the ongoing response to Covid-19 pandemic will receive 439 million euro. 58 million euro has been allocated overall to mental health services, with 14 million euro going towards ’emergency placements’.

An additional 6,000 staff will be recruited in a “wide range” of roles across the health systems as part of the healthcare package, while 650 new acute and community beds will be added to health service facilities by the end of 2023.

Overnight hospital charges for adult inpatients are to end from next April. They were scraped for patients under 16s in Budget 2022. Changes to income limits will allow more than 430,000 people will become eligible for a free GP visit card or medical card.

The free contraceptive scheme will be extended to include those from 16 to 30 years old while the first publicly funded IVF treatments will be supplied in 2023.

What does it do for students?

All students will receive a once-off 1,000 euro reduction in their tuition fees. At 3,000 euro, Ireland has the highest third-level fees in the EU. Students who have already paid the 3,000 euro fee will receive a 1,000 refund, while students who are paying in two instalments will see their second instalment reduced by 1,000 euro.

Following this academic year, there will be a permanent reduction of 500 euro in student fees for households earning between 62,000 and 100,000 euro per year.

For households earning between 55,240 and 62,000 euro per year, student fees will capped at 1,500 euro from 2023.

Some students will also benefit from a once-off double grant payment from their Susi grant before Christmas, while PhD students will get a once-off payment of 500 euro.

Student grants will also increase in January between 10-14 per cent depending on how much their family earns. Families on lower incomes will receive an extra 856 euro in 2023.

Around 10,250 students from the poorest households will see their Susi grant increase by 856 euro per year. Meanwhile, students who live more than 30km from their college will receive a 450 euro increase.

The cost of public transport will be reduced by 20 per cent overall while the Youth Travel Card discount of 50 per cent will be extended to 2023.

Students can avail of the 500 euro tax credit if they are in student accommodation, a shared rental or their own rented flat.

What does it do for nightlife?

1.14 billion euro has been allocated to the Ministry of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sports and Media. 6 million euro has been allocated for the Night-Time Economy initiative dedicated to driving footfall into towns, supporting performances, soundproofing grants to support venues as well as eight night-time advisers who will “lead reforms nationwide”.

The Special Exemption Order has been reduced by 50 per cent. Venues who want to stay open until 02:30 will pay 55 euro instead of 110 euro.

The special VAT rate of 9 per cent for hospitality will expire at the end of February 2023. It will not be extended, and the VAT rate will return to 13.5 per cent.

The cost of public transport will be reduced by 20 per cent overall while the Youth Travel Card discount of 50 per cent will be extended to 2023.

Elsewhere on District: One in four Irish adults now affected by hidden homelessness

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