Search icon


13th Oct 2020

Wage schemes extended, work-from-home claims, price hikes in cigarettes and petrol – Budget 2021 highlights

Rory Cashin

320,000 jobs are expected to have been lost due to Covid by the end of 2020.

Today’s “unprecedented” €17 billion spending budget for 2021 is based on three assumptions that could change in the next few weeks or months:

  • There won’t be a Covid-19 vaccine available next year
  • There won’t be a Brexit trade deal
  • There will not be a second nationwide lockdown, but a series of local lockdowns, which would be more helpful for the Irish economy to continue as best as it possibly can

Any changes to the above, and the budget could be tweaked to match those changes, but here are the highlights from the budget announcements today:

  • 320,000 jobs are expected to have been lost due to Covid-19 by the end of 2020
  • Increased claims may be made by those working from home
  • Help-to-Buy scheme of €30,000 is being extended to the end of 2021
  • Live events and entertainment sector to receive support funding
  • Hotel and hospitality industry to receive VAT reductions
  • Qualifying businesses closed due to Level 3 restrictions or above can apply for a grant of up to €5,000 per week
  • Classroom sizes to reduce in order to lower student to teacher ratio
  • Funding given for 600 new Garda and 500 new Garda staff
  • Christmas bonus will be given to the majority of those on PUP
  • The Temporary Wage Scheme will continue to March 2021 and beyond
  • Self-employed can defer payment on 2019 and 2020 taxes
  • Price of petrol/diesel to raise by 2.5 cents per litre
  • Pack of 20 cigarettes to increase by 50c, pro-rata increase on other tobacco products, but no change to alcohol

Full details and breakdowns on all of the above will be made available on the government website.

READ NEXT: Restaurants think ‘circuit-breaker lockdown’ needed in order to save Christmas