The details of Budget 2015 have been broadly welcomed by business and industry groups.

Ibec, which represents Irish businesses, said the measures would support job creation and growth, while also boosting consumer confidence.

The group’s CEO Danny McCoy said the reduction in tax and increase in investment would send an “important signal to taxpayers and the international community that our era of austerity is over”.

It said the income tax changes would boost economic activity and make it easier for companies to create new jobs. The changes will also make it more attractive for individuals to take up jobs, they said.

Ibec also welcomed measures relating to corporation tax and international investments, commending the Government for responding “assertively to the changing global tax environment”.

Meanwhile, the Construction Industry Federation has welcomed the increase in capital spending, which it said marked a turning of the tide for the building sector.

"The increase in capital spending is very important to the construction industry," said CIF director general Tom Parlon, saying that public spending previously represented 50% of activity, before the significant cuts made in recent years.

Mr Parlon said the focus on social housing projects would provide a huge amount of work for the industry and “create thousands of jobs”.

CIF called on the Government to give details on these investments sooner rather than later, so the industry can begin to prepare for the work in the near future.

Elsewhere, Retail Excellence Ireland welcomed the Budget measures and said it would strengthen consumer sentiment ahead of the Christmas trading period.

The body was specifically positive on the decision to retain the 9% VAT rate for the hospitality industry, which it said had helped to boost jobs and revenues since its introduction in 2011.

REI also welcomed the increase in the Department of Justice’s budget and said it hoped this would help lead to improved policing, specifically in urban areas.

Despite being broadly positive on the Budget measures, REI did express disappointment over the 40c duty rise on cigarettes, which it said would drive consumers to the black market.

It also said that the failure to reduce employers’ PRSI for Class A employees would hinder employment growth in the retail sector.

The Irish Hotels Federation was also positive on the retention of the 9% VAT rate for the tourism and hospitality sector.

The federation’s president Stephen McNally said it had been one of the most successful job creation initiatives of the past few years and would help continue that growth in the year ahead.

“Thanks to a number of pro-tourism initiatives, the industry is on course to create a further 40,000 jobs by the end of the decade,” says Mr McNally.

Mr McNally also welcomed the Government’s capital investment plans for tourism-friendly projects including the Dublin Heritage Trail, the Kilkenny Medieval Mile and Killarney House.

The Small Firms Association said the Budget would help support small businesses by boosting people’s disposable income, as well as making it more attractive for firms to hire.

Access to debt and equity finance would also be helped by improvements to the Employment and Investment Incentive Scheme, the SFA said.

Changes to income tax rates would create a “virtuous cycle” by increasing people’s take-home pay while also making employment more attractive to some.

The SFA also welcomed the abolition of the “unjust” pensions levy.

However the Irish Small and Medium Enterprise Association was critical of the Government’s decision not to make changes to the taxes charged on self-employed work.

ISME CEO Mark Fielding described this as “blatant discrimination” and a discouragement to entrepreneurs in the country.

The group did welcome the extension to corporation tax exemptions for start-ups, as well as other measures announced in the Budget 2015.

It was also positive about the Government’s decision to extend the 9% VAT rate into 2015 and plans to end the “unfair” pension levy.

Though ISME also suggested that the Government could have sent a strong signal about its public finances had it taken a more prudent budgetary stance.

The group also cautioned against any relaxation in the search for efficiencies in the public sector.