The Budget 2018: How it can affect you and your wages

As the Minister of Finances, Pascal O Donoghue, gave his inaugural Budget speech on 10th October 2017,  there were few surprises. However, Halloween 2018 looks to be a dismal affair with fruit and nuts once more becoming the norm with the introduction of the new sugar tax!

Our summary of the Budget 2018 will look at the key points of interest that most people were concerned about prior to the announcement and look at how these areas were affected by the Minister’s announcement.


There have been no changes to income tax rates however the 20% band is increasing by €750 per annum from €33,800 to €34,550

Earned Income Tax Credit

The Earned Income Tax Credit will be increased by €200 from €950 to €1,150

Home Carer Credit

The Home Carer Tax Credit will be increased from €1,100 to €1,200

Universal social charge

The entry point for USC will remain at €13,000

The 2.5% rate is reduced to 2%

The 5% rate is reduced to 4.75%

The medium-term plan is to amalgamate USC and PRSI into a single insurance payment

Pay Related Social Insurance

There were no changes to general PRSI thresholds or employee PRSI announced in the Budget. However, as the National Training Levy is increasing, and it is collected as part of the employer PRSI contribution, employer PRSI will increase as follows:

8.5% increased to 8.6%

10.75% increased to 10.85%

Stamp Duty

An increase in the rate of stamp duty on commercial property from 2% to 6% was announced and this came into effect at midnight last night. However, a stamp duty refund scheme will be introduced for commercial land purchased for the development of housing, provided the relevant development commences within 30 months of the land purchase.

Mortgage Interest Relief

A tapered extension of mortgage interest relief for owner occupiers who took out qualifying mortgages between 2004 and 2012 was announced. 75% of the existing 2017 relief will be continued into 2018, 50% in 2019 and 25% in 2020. This relief will cease entirely from 2021

National Minimum Wage

The National Minimum Wage will increase from €9.25 to €9.55 per hour in respect of hours worked on or after 1st January 2018.

Workers under age 18 will be entitled to €6.69 per working hour

Workers in their first year of employment over the age of 18 will be entitled to €7.64 per working hour

Workers in their second year of employment over the age of 18 will be entitled to €8.60 per working hour

Social Welfare Payments

There will be a €5 increase in all weekly Social Welfare payments with effect from 26th March 2018. The maximum personal rate of Illness Benefit will be increased to €198 per week. Maternity Benefit and Paternity Benefit will be increased to €240 per week

Medical Prescriptions

Prescription charges reduced by 50 cents for all medical card holders under 70 (cut from €2.50 to €2.00).

Maximum monthly prescription charge cut from €25 to €20

Threshold for the Drugs Payment Scheme reduced from €144 to €134

Sugar Tax

Next April we will see a tax of either 20c or 30c per Litre. on sugar sweetened drinks.



Our Corporation tax has been the subject of constant scrutiny from the European Commission and OECD, so it is welcomed news that the Minister has stated that Ireland’s 12.5% corporation tax rate on trading income will remain unchanged.

Capital Allowances 

  • The deduction for capital allowances for intangible assets, and any related interest expense, will be limited to 80% of the relevant income arising from the intangible asset in an accounting period.
  • The scheme of accelerated capital allowances for energy efficient equipment is being extended to 31 December 2020.


The Minister made clear in his speech that he was concerned of the dangers for the Irish economy arising from Brexit. It was decided to retain the 9% VAT rate for tourism. It was also acknowledged that SMEs would need to look beyond the UK and into other markets for trading purposes and would need support for this.

Loan Scheme

A new loan scheme of up to €300 million has been made available at a competitive rate to SMEs to help them with their short-term working capital needs.

This scheme is supported by the European Investment Bank Group, the European Commission and the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland.

It will give SMEs time to put in place the necessary changes to help their businesses grow into the future

Renewable Energy & Energy efficiency

Funds are being allocated to fund the rollout of the Renewable Heat Incentive and to incentivise the uptake of Electric Vehicles. In addition to the VRT relief (maximum €5,000) and the SEAI grant of up to €5,000, a 0% rate of Benefit-In-Kind is being introduced in 2018 for a period of 1 year.

Vacant site levy

The levy will increase from 3% in first year to 7% in the second and subsequent years.



Tax Credit 2017 € 2018 €  
Single Person 1,650 1,650  
Married or in a Civil Partnership 3,300 3,300  
Employee Tax Credit 1,650 1,650  
Earned Income Tax Credit Max 950 1,150  
Widowed Person or Surviving Civil 2,190 2,190  
Partner (without qualifying child)      
Single Person Child Carer Tax 1,650 1,650  
Incapacitated Child Credit Max 3,300 3,300  
Blind Tax Credit:      
Single Person 1,650 1,650  
Married or in a Civil Partnership –      
One Spouse or Civil Partner Blind 1,650 1,650  
Married or in a Civil Partnership –      
Both Spouses or Civil Partners Blind 3,300 3,300  
Widowed Parent:      
Bereaved in 2017 3,600  
Bereaved in 2016 3,600 3,150  
Bereaved in 2015 3,150 2,700  
Bereaved in 2014 2,700 2,250  
Bereaved in 2013 2,250 1,800  
Bereaved in 2012 1,800  
Age Tax Credit:      
Single or Widowed or Surviving      
Civil Partner 245 245  
Married or in a Civil Partnership 490 490  
Dependent Relative 70 70  
Home Carer Tax Credit 1,100 1,200  



Tax Rates and Tax Bands

Personal 2017 € 2018 €  
Single or Widowed or      
Surviving Civil 33,800 @ 20% 34,550 @ 20%  
Partner, without Balance @ 40% Balance @ 40%  
qualifying child      
Single or Widowed or      
Surviving Civil 37,800 @ 20% 38,550 @ 20%  
Partner, qualifying for  
Balance @ 40% Balance @ 40%  
Single Person Child  
Carer Credit      
Married or in a Civil      
Partnership, one 42,800 @ 20% 43,550 @ 20%  
Spouse or Civil Balance @ 40% Balance @ 40%  
Partner with Income      
Married or in a Civil 42,800 @ 20% 43,550 @ 20%  
Partnership, both with increase of with increase of  
Spouses or Civil 24,800 max. 25,550 max.  
Partners with Income Balance @ 40% Balance @ 40%  


Peter Murphy is Managing Partner of Susan E Brown Chartered Accountants & Chartered Tax Consultants ( ) and Managing Director of Cairde Accountancy & Taxation Solutions ( ).  Accountancy and taxation advise has been his business for over 20 years. He is a provider of expert but affordable Accountancy and Payroll services from offices at 97 St. Stephens Green Dublin 2.

Should anyone have further queries or require an understanding of another area of concern then please feel free to contact Peter directly.