Five things you might have missed in Budget 2021

Leitrim Observer Reporter

Reporter:

Leitrim Observer Reporter

Five things you might have missed in Budget 2021

You can get a tax deduction while working from home

More gardaí on the way

Budget 2021 allows for the recruitment of 620 trainee gardaí through Templemore next year. A further 500 Garda staff from the civilian population will also be recruited to fill administrative and back-office jobs. The number sergeants and inspectors within An Garda Síochana will also increase next year. In addition, the increased capital allocation for An Garda Síochána will see ongoing investment in ICT modernisation within the force.

Money for Met Éireann

Met Éireann is to receive additional capital funding of just over €13 million for existing key projects but also the establishment of a national flood forecasting and warning service; the upgrade and modernisation of the State’s existing weather radar infrastructure; the development, in partnership with 4 other European National Met Services, of a state-of-the-art High Performance Computer platform for Numerical Weather Prediction.

Almost 1,000 more SNAs

The budget provides for 990 additional special needs assistants supporting the full rollout of the new SNA model and bring the total number of SNAs in Ireland to over 18,000. The Budget also provides for 145 additional special education teachers; 258 additional special class and special school teachers; An additional 80 occupational, speech and language and behavioural therapists and 30 NEPS to support the phased roll-out of the School Inclusion Model, aimed at ensuring students with additional needs get the right supports at the right time.

Tax break for gaming

Work will take place in 2021 on the development of a tax credit for the digital gaming sector, with a view to supporting qualifying activity from January 2022 onwards. "Digital gaming is a sector that has seen exponential global growth in the past decade and there are potential synergies to exploit with the established film and animation sectors, to support quality employment in creative and digital arts in Ireland," Budget 2021 states.

Money back for working from home

You can claim a tax deduction while working from home. Workers are entitled to claim €3.20 in tax rebates per day if their employer makes a contribution towards remote working. Those whose employer does not make a contribution towards remote working can also make a claim for a tax deduction for associated costs. These costs include lighting, heat and now broadband costs. The government is also developing a strategy for remote working with interdepartmental work already ongoing on this.

BUDGET 2021 - AT A GLANCE:

- The pension age increase to 67 will not proceed. It will remain at 66

- Headline social welfare rates unchanged 

- €4 billion to be spent on the health service

- No increase to income tax

- €3.4 billion unallocated Covid-19 Recovery Fund to be used as needed by the government next year

- €5 billion to be put into the Department of Housing - focus on social and affordable housing supply

- The price of a packet of cigarettes will increase by €0.50, bringing average pack price over €14

- Wage subsidy scheme will be extended to end of 2021

- People can earn just over €400 in casual work without losing Pandemic Unemployment Payment

- ICU beds to increase from 255 to 321

- Price of petrol and diesel to increase by €1.20 and €1.50 per tank fill respectively 

- Carbon tax will increase by €7.50 per year until 2029 and €6.50 in 2030 to achieve €100 per tonne

- Help To Buy Scheme extended through 2021. Max rebate for deposit of €30,000.