Inheritance Tax Cut, Funding for Amateur Dramatics, Free GP care for under-8s, Fuel Allowance reduced, 1,000 new SNAs
I welcomed the announcement of Budget 2020 as a good deal for families in Dublin Rathdown, who will benefit in particular from reductions in inheritance tax, additional free GP care, and reduced Fuel Allowance. Much-needed funding is also to be allocated to community amateur dramatics groups for the first time in years. Some of the key measures of Budget 2020 include:
- Inheritance tax-free threshold increased by €15,000 for the family home
- Significant new funding for amateur dramatics in communities Ireland
- Earned income tax credit for self-employed increased to €1500
- Free GP care extended to children under 8
- Free dental care for children under 6
- An increase in Fuel Allowance of €2 per week
- Funding for 1,000 new Special Needs Assistants
- 56,000 new medical cards for people over 70
- Funding for 700 new Gardaí and reduced hospital waiting lists
- A reduction in prescription charges of 50c
- Robust action on climate change
- €1.2 billion to prepare for the impact of Brexit
I know the impact that inheritance tax in particular has on many grieving families who cannot afford the additional costs involved. I therefore welcome action to increase the tax-free threshold again this year, by an even greater amount than last year. I hope to see this continued in future years.”
In my own Department, I am delighted to allocate significant funding of €250,000 to the amateur dramatics sector in Ireland for the first time in years. This will support community drama groups across the Dublin Rathdown. I have met with many of these groups over the past few months and seen first-hand the vital work that they do.
This Budget has been framed in the context of Brexit, and ensuring that we are prepared for all eventualities. It is crucial to be prudent with taxpayers’ money and to ensure that the most exposed sectors of the economy are protected against a hard Brexit, with €1.2 billion allocated for this. The economy is in a strong position and I congratulate my Government colleagues on their work, in particular Minister Paschal Donohoe.
With Brexit on the horizon, I welcome the action taken in Budget 2020 to reduce the cost of living for families and for the self-employed. Extending free GP and dental care for children, as well as reducing prescription charges and increasing the number or medical cards for people over 70s will help to reduce health costs for families.
Along with tax changes, this Budget continues to invest in our front line community services, with 700 new Gardaí and 1,000 new SNAs announced. This will help us to promote security in our communities and ensure that children at school receive the supports that they need and are entitled to.
We all know the importance of tackling climate change and I very much welcome budgetary announcements in this area including incentivising moves to green energy and away from a reliance on fossil fuels. This demonstrates the Government’s commitment to climate action.
For more information on Budget 2020, see http://www.budget.gov.ie/Budgets/2020/2020.aspx