Budget 2021 – Key Points

Budget Ireland 2021 was announced on Tuesday 13th October 2020. Here are the hey points of what was presented to Government:


  • The USC 4,5% threshold is to be increased in Jan 2021 from €20,484 to €20,687. This is to coincide with the minimum wage increase to €10.20 an hour
  • Self-employed income tax credit to rise by €150 to €1,650
  • No change changes to income tax bands or rates in Budget Ireland 2021.
  • Increase in the Dependent Relative Tax Credit by €70 to €245
  • Pack of 20 cigarettes increase by 50c. Pro-rata increase on other tobacco products. €14 now for most popular pack of cigarettes
  • Carbon tax increases by €7.50 a tonne from midnight
  • Changes to Vehicle Registration Tax (VRT) based on emissions which is aimed at incentivising people to buy low emission cars.
  • Current VRT reliefs for hybrids will be allowed to expire in light of the new rates system
  • Changes to the motor tax regime. Rates unchanged for those before 2008. Most pollutant cars impacted
  • No change to the 12.5% rate of corporation tax
  • An additional €100m of carbon tax revenue will be put towards energy efficiency of our homes


  • There will be a new Covid restrictions support scheme to provide targeted support for businesses that have temporarily closed because of the pandemic
  • VAT for hospitality will be reduced to 9% from November 1st until December 2021
  • Section 481 scheme for film will now run until Dec 31st 2023 at its highest rate of 5%
  • Capital investment of €10.1 billion in 2021
  • €500m in additional expenditure for businesses in addition to tax measures
  • Commercial rates waiver extended for final quarter of this year at cost of €300m
  • 10,000 upskilling opportunities and 4,000 new apprentices
  • €1.1bn to department of enterprise
  • €55m for a tourism business support scheme and €5m for tourism product development

Working from Home:

  • People working from home will be able to claim tax deductions on utilities such as a light, heating and possibly broadband.
  • In cases where the employer makes payments towards the expenses of working from home, up to €3.20 may be paid to employees.
  • Where the employer does not make a contribution, the worker may claim a tax deduction for utility expenses, which may include broadband.

Social Protection:

  • Increase in the Living Alone allowance of €5 to €19
  • Fuel allowance up by €3.50 a week to €28
  • The qualified child payment for over-12s is rising by €5 and by €2 for under-12s
  • Increase in carers support grant by €150 to €1,850 a year
  • Parents Benefit to be extended by a further three weeks
  • Rise in pension age to 67 on 1 January 2021 will no longer go ahead
  • Self-employed on PUP can take up some freelance work and not lose their benefit
  • Christmas bonus to be paid to those on PUP and other welfare if they have been on that for four months instead of usual 15.


  • An extra €4 billion for the health service
  • Ireland has signed up to EU advance purchase agreements for potential Covid vaccines
  • An extra 1,146 acute beds; increase in permanent adult critical care beds to 321 by end of year from 255 pre-Covid; 1,250 community beds in 2021 including 600 new rehabilitation beds
  • Five million extra homecare hours
  • €5 million for development of community-based dementia supports €50m for new drugs and €25m for Healthy Ireland and National Drugs Strategy
  • €38m for mental health under Sharing the Vision
  • €100m for disability new services
  • 16,000 health sector posts
  • An extra €20 million for disability services through transforming lives programme €10 million in this year funding for voluntary hospices


  • Department of Education will have an €8.9bn budget; €2bn of that will be put towards children with special education needs; 900 additional SNAs and 403 additional teachers
  • €80 million extra for school building programme, ICT and minor works scheme for Department of Education
  • €270m for Higher Education for 20 building projects
  • Reduction in the pupil teacher ration by 1 to 25:1 in primary schools by providing more than 300 posts
  • €3.3bn budget for Higher Education Department; about 5,000 places for demographic changes arising from calculated grades
  • SUSI grant for postgraduates will rise by €1,500 to €3,500 and income eligibility threshold has been changed.
  • €50m fund to give all third-level full time students €250 Social welfare rates to be maintained in 2021


  • €10m for Cork and Shannon airports
  • An additional €44 million for Irish Water for infrastructure
  • Construction on N56 in Donegal, N4 in Sligo, N5 in Mayo, N22 and Dunkettle interchange in Cork
  • Purchase 41 additional InterCity railcar carriages and sign contract with potential for up to 600 electric carriages as part as DART+
  • €132m for National Broadband Plan
  • Additional €1bn for public transport in 2021
  • Increased deployment of electric cars across the public service


  • Help to buy scheme extended until end of 2021 at the higher max €30,000 rate
  • Stamp Duty scheme which refunds a portion of stamp duty paid on acquisition of non-residential land where it is then developed will be extended until end Dec 2022
  • Extension of stamp duty relief for the transfer of agricultural land to family members until Dec 2023
  • €5.2bn for Department of Housing – increase of €773 million on 2020
  • €500m for capital expenditure on housing for 9,500 new social housing units in 2021
  • €65m for deep retrofitting of existing social housing
  • Expansion of HAP tenancies; 800 more rental accommodation scheme tenancies; 85,000 tenancies supported through next year
  • €22m for homelessness programmes including additional beds
  • €110m for affordable housing package for affordable and cost rental
  • €210m under Rebuilding Ireland Home Loan scheme
  • The Land Development Agency will have €1.2 billion of funding available


  • €131m for Defence Forces capital expenditure
  • 620 new garda recruits; 500 new civilian staff
  • Funding for the inquest into the Stardust tragedy
  • Further ICT for the Gardaí and courts services under €258m for them
  • Forensic Science Lab and redevelopment of Limerick Prison funded
  • €120m increase for Department of Children including €61m for Tusla


  • €14m extra for the Gaeltacht and Irish language to €78m
  • €50m for live entertainment supports and arts council funding
  • €36m for Sport Ireland, €7m for large scale sports infrastructure, €2m for major sporting events
  • €179m extra for Department of Agriculture; funding to include controls on agri-food exports and imports to/from the UK post Brexit
  • 7% increase in budget for rural affairs including town and village renewal scheme
  • €5m for new digital hubs in rural Ireland
  • €29m for heritage sites