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Sugar tax expected in Budget 2018

10 October 2017

It's the first budget for Leo Varadkar as Taoiseach and Paschal Donohoe as Minister for Finance and will have to first be passed by a Cabinet meeting this morning. Here are some of the main points.

€ 1.83 billion has been announced for housing in 2018.

An extra €500 million (£447 million) for direct building programme will see 3,000 additional new build social houses by 2021.

-Additional €18 million for emergency accommodation.

He will also siphon off 750 million euros from the state's sovereign wealth fund, the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund, to start a new body that will offer debt finance to builders and be staffed by executives from the state's "bad bank", NAMA.

But the Value-Added Tax rate on tourism enterprises remains fixed at 9%, something welcomed by Senator Maria Byrne, who said this will "help protect jobs and create further employment".

For workers, 2 USC rates have been lowered and income tax bands have been raised.

The allocation includes an additional 1,800 staff aimed at a range of frontline services across the acute, mental health, disability, primary and community care sectors.

1,000 extra special needs teachers will have been employed by Sept 2018, bringing the total to 15,000.

Resources have been allocated to allow for the recruitment of an extra 800 gardai and 500 civilians during 2018, the minister announced.

There will be a €5 euro per week increase in social welfare payments as well as a €5 increase to the pension from March next year. An 85% Christmas bonus will be paid this year.

-Home Carers tax credit increase by €100 to €1200.

Excise duty on a packet of 20 cigarettes to rise by 50 cents.

A 30c per litre sugar tax on drinks with over 8g of sugar per 100ml, and a 20c per litre tax on drinks containing 5g to 8g of sugar per 100ml.

-20 cent increase on litre of fizzy drink with 5 to 8g of sugar per 100ml.

Spending on health has been increased by €685m, bringing total funding to nearly €15.3bn for 2018, reflecting an nearly 5% increase, the minister said.

The Children's Minister says 20,000 more children will be given free childcare.

Sugar tax expected in Budget 2018