The main points of the 2009 budget

The government’s 2009 spending plans include a €2.5bn package of tax cuts, a sharp reduction in home help services and no changes to basic income tax rates.

  • Tax cuts to total €2.5bn
  • State debt to fall to 39.6% of GDP
  • Budget surplus to reach 1.2%
  • Economic growth to reach 1.25% in 2009
  • Inflation will hit 3.25%
  • Tax breaks for those who work past the age of 62 and 65
  • Spending power to go up by an average 0.5%
  • No more unemployment benefit premiums (WW) for workers
  • No changes to income tax rates or mortgage tax relief
  • €115m extra for urban renewal
  • €100m extra for youth social workers
  • €112m extra to cover the increase in asylum seekers
  • Healthcare spending to rise by 4.5% to €58bn
  • Sleeping pills no longer part of basic health insurance package
  • Home help provision to be slashed
  • Parental leave to double from 13 to 26 weeks
  • €500m to stimulating expertise and innovation
  • €558m for sustainable energy and offshore wind parks
  • Free entry to ‘approved museums’ for under-12s
  • 12.9 million traffic fines to be issued, generating an extra €40m
  • A ban on sending spam, higher priority for fighting cyber crime
  • Law on reporting unusual financial transactions to be tightened, with a target of almost doubling reports
  • Total spending on defence to be cut slightly
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