Workers and consumers will benefit from several Budget changes that kick in from today. 

The minimum wage is going up and there are reductions to prescription charges for some medical card holders.

Changes to tax and USC announced in October's Budget will boost take home pay. The threshold for the higher rate of income tax rises by €750.

Lower and middle income earners will gain from cuts to USC rates. The lower rate goes from 2.5% to 2% with an increase in the ceiling to €19,372. The standard rate is dropping from 5% to 4.75%.

The self-employed will gain from a rise in the Earned Income Tax Credit, which is increasing from €950 to €1,150.

The minimum wage is going up by 30 cent to €9.55 per hour from today.

On medication costs, the Drug Payment Scheme monthly threshold drops from €144 to €134.

In addition, 500,000 medical card holders under 70 will see a drop in prescription charges to €2 per item, a drop of 50 cent. The Home Carer Tax Credit will also rise by €100 to €1,200.

A €5 rise in the State pension does not come into effect until the end of March at the same time as a similar rise in Jobseekers' Allowance for under 26s.

Meanwhile, around 300,000 public servants will receive the first of two 1% pay rises for 2018, as part of the process to restore salaries to pre-crisis levels.

The second 1% comes into effect in October.

TDs will receive an extra €3,600 in salaries, although some have said they will not accept the pay rise. The Taoiseach, Tánaiste, ministers and ministers of State will forego the hikes.