Low-paid workers will benefit from the Budget and there is good news also for first-time buyers. But most will still feel the pinch with rises in fuel, VAT and car tax.

There is no rise in income tax but the change in universial social charge thresholds will have an impact on as many as 330,000 workers as it will no longer be payable by those who earn less than €10,000.

First time buyers will see their mortgage interest relief increased but all property owners, bar those in unfinished housing estates, wll have to pay a €100 property tax from January.

The cost of home heating oil is also going up - but not until next May.

Car tax is also going up.

Here are the main points:


No increase in income tax

Universal Social Charge:

Lower paid workers benefit.

Threshold for paying USC up from €4,004 to €10,036 - this affects 330,000 people

Shopping and services

VAT hiked from 21% to 23%

This will apply to most non-food items including cars, petrol, phone bills, electrical supplies, furniture, adult footwear and clothing, alcohol, soft drinks, and tobacco.

Services that will charge the higher rate of tax including accountancy, legal and tax advisory services.

Services that will not apply to home heating oil, general household repairs and maintenance - electricians, plumbers and car mechanics will continue to charge the lower rate of 13.5%


Petrol: 1.4c increase

Diesel: 1.6c increase

Home heating oil: Won't go up until May but will then rise by €17.32

€17.32 increase on Fuel Oil (to rise in May)

€14.46 increase on Natural Gas (to rise in May)

No Carbon Tax on solid fuels



25c increase on pack of 20


No change in excise duty

Legislation planned on low-cost alcohol

Motor Tax:

Changes to apply from 1 January

Band A up €56 to €160

Band B up €69 to €225

Band C up €28 to €330


Mortgage Interest Relief:

30% for first-time buyers between 2004 and 2008

25% for first-time buyers in 2012

15% for non-first time buyers

Mortgage interest relief will not be available to people who purchase after the end of 2012 and the relief will be abolished by 2018.

Property Tax

€100 Household Charge will be introduced in January :

Waived for those on mortgage interest supplement and those in unfinished housing estates

Stamp Duty

No change to stamp duty on residential property

Commercial property rate lowered from 6% to 2%


50% Employer PRSI pension relief abolished

Approved Retirement Funds: Tax up 1% to 6% on transfer of funds


Legislation planned



Capital Acquisitions Tax:

Up from 25% to 30%

Capital Gains Tax:

Up from 25% to 30%

Capital Gains Tax Incentive

Applies to commercial property bought by end 2013 and kept for 7 years. Gains may in capital value over this period will be relieved from capital gains tax.



Tax on interest will rise from 27% to 30%


Lower commercial stamp duty rate will also apply to farmland

50% stock relief on registered farm partnerships

100% rate for certain young trained farmers

Incentives for timely transfer of farms before the current owners reach the age of 66

Corporate Tax Rate:

To remain at 12.5%

Corporate tax: Exemption for start-ups extended

Research & Development

€100,000 of expenditure can be used as tax credit

Companies can use R&D credits to reward key employees

GDP: 1.3% growth forecast in 2012

Special Assignee Relief Programme: Initiative to attract key staff