The Government has announced the introduction of a new "petroleum production tax" which will increase the maximum tax take on an oil or gas producing field from 40% to 55%.

Under measures in the Finance Bill - published today - Finance Minister Michael Noonan said the purpose of the new tax is to ensure that energy discoveries made under future exploration licences will result in an increased financial return to the state and at an earlier point in time. 

The Finance Bill 2016 gives effect to taxation measures announced in the Budget earlier this month and also includes measures not announced on Budget Day.

These measures include an exemption for employees from USC on employer contributions to a personal retirement savings account (PRSA). They also include the increasing of the maximum benefit in kind relief from €250 to €500.

The new bill also provides for the payment of a grant in respect of fuel costs to members of the disabled drivers and disabled passengers scheme. 

Other changes relate to taxing those who farm woodland, as well as tax treaty negotiations with Ethiopia, Zambia and Pakistan. 

Measures announced on Budget Day included increasing the entry threshold to paying the Universal Social Charge from €12,012 to €13,000 and reducing the three lowest rates of USC. It also provided for the introduction of a so-called "Knowledge Development Box" with a corporation tax rate of 6.25%.

Increases to the Home Carer Tax credit were also announced, as well as an increasing threshold for Capital Acquisitions tax and a number of agri-taxation measures including extending general stock relief.