The Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe, has delivered Budget 2018. While many of the changes announced in today’s budget had been flagged in advance there were still plenty of talking points. As expected the Minister made a number of changes to the Universal Social Charge as well as an increase in the standard rate income tax bands effective from January 2018. The Minister also increased all weekly social welfare payments, including an increase in the State Pension of 5 euro per week with effect from the last week in March 2018.
The Minister however made no reference to the widening gap between the rate of DIRT, which reduces to 37% from January 2018, and the rate of exit tax on life assurance policies which remains at 41%. This is despite calls from the insurance industry for the rates to be aligned. It had also been mooted that Capital Acquisitions Tax thresholds could be increased in Budget 2018 but these remain at previous levels.
Details of the changes that will be of most interest to pension, protection and investment clients are outlined in the Summary document Budget 2018 Summary