BUDGET 2019: Wages, Tax and VAT

Ellen Fitzpatrick

Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe, announced an increase in minimum wage and VAT and a reduction in USC during his Budget 2019 speech.

Minimum wage will increase to €9.80 per hour as recommend by the Low Pay Commission, said Donohoe.

“The weekly threshold for the higher rate of employer’s PRSI will be increased from €376 to €386 to ensure that there is no incentive to reduce working hours for a full-time minimum wage worker,” Donohoe said.

The VAT rate for hospitality will increase from nine per cent to 13.5 per cent, avoiding the increase of other taxes and increasing the funding to the Department of Transport and Tourism to an additional €35 million.

The Universal Social Charge (USC) has seen a reduction in the third rate from 4.75 per cent to 4.5 per cent.

The second USC rate band will be increased from €19,372 to €19,874, the minister announced.

Corporation tax will remain at 12.5 per cent, said Donohoe.

The charge of cigarettes will increase by 50c, making a packet of cigarettes cost €12.70.

“I am increasing excise duty on a pack of 20 cigarettes by 50 cents, with a pro-rata increase on other tobacco products. This will bring the price of cigarettes in the most popular price category to €12.70,” said Donohoe.

“I am also increasing the Minimum Excise Duty on tobacco products so that all cigarettes sold below €11 will have the same excise applied as cigarettes sold at €11.”

The nine per cent rate for newspaper publications will remain and there will be a reduction in the rate for electronic publications from 23 per cent to nine per cent.

Betting duty is to increase by ten per cent from 15 per cent to 25 per cent and is set to generate an additional €40 million next year.

By Ellen Fitzpatrick

Image credit: marpixel.net