Budget: main points for 2010

The measures taken in the 2010 budget focus on ‘creating and preserving jobs, a strong and resilient business community and limiting any further drop in demand,’ the finance ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.

The main points of the budget:
General finances

  • State debt to reach 65.7% of GDP in 2010
  • Budget deficit to reach 4.8% of GDP in 2009, 6.2% in 2010
  • Economic growth flat in 2010
  • Inflation to reach 1% in 2010
  • Unemployment to hit 8% end 2010
  • Spending power to go down by an average 0.25% next year

  • Taxes and premiums

  • No changes to income tax rates or mortgage tax relief
  • Value added tax (btw) unchanged at 19% but reduced to 6% for painting older houses and domestic cleaning services
  • Employer wage admin costs cut by €380m
  • €220m in extra tax breaks for innovation, earnings from R&D taxed at 5%
  • Basic health insurance set to rise by estimated €20 a year, income-related health charge and own-risk contribution to rise slightly
  • Spending cuts

  • Total cuts in 2011 €1.8bn
  • Development aid budget cut by €600m to €4.7bn, but still 0.8% of GDP
  • €75m less for workforce reintegration
  • Child benefit and student grants frozen
  • State pension for partners under 55 to be scrapped
  • Cuts on defence spending to reach €172m by 2013
  • €25m cut in spending on public broadcasters
  • Less cash for professionalising primary school management
  • Extra spending

  • €1bn extra for spending on part-time jobless benefits
  • €150m extra for local authorities to spend on urban renewal
  • €416m extra to combat youth unemployment, boost training
  • €300 extra for waterways and coastal protection
  • Economic affairs loan guarantee scheme raised to €150m
  • €214 extra for immigration and refugee policy
  • New initiatives

  • Pension age to rise from 65 to 67 (date of implementation not yet known) if no alternative found
  • 300 ‘family and child’ centres to open nationwide by end-2010
  • Extra frequencies for mobile communications auctioned next year
  • Integration course target in 2010 remains at 60,000 students
  • The 60 watt lightbulb is to be phased out ahead of EU schedule
  • Measures to stop the waste of hospital emergency department resources
  • More effort to increase flexible working hours
  • Planning procedures for new roads to be accelerated
  • More powers for police to deport failed asylum seekers
  • Nationwide campaign to reduce possession of knives
  • Councils to get the power to raise age to buy alcohol to 18
  • For an official summary of the budget, click here
    For the finance ministry statement, click here
    For more on the finance ministry’s tax plans, click here

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