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Budget 2015

Introduction

For information on the budget announced on Tuesday, 13 October 2015, please visit our document on Budget 2016.

Budget 2015 was announced on 14 October 2014.

The main Budget changes that may affect people living in Ireland are set out below.

This document sets out changes in the areas of taxation, social welfare, health, housing, education, employment and other areas. It is an overview and not a complete statement of the measures announced in Budget 2015.

This document will be updated throughout the week as more details become available.

Some of the changes announced in the Budget come into effect immediately. Others take effect from the beginning of January 2015 or in mid-2015. Many others have to be finalised before coming into effect.

Some elements of these measures may change when the legislation required to bring them into effect is enacted.

For a full list of the Budget changes, please see the Department of Finance website, budget.gov.ie. You can find a summary of the social welfare changes on the Department of Social Protection's website, welfare.ie.

Taxation

Income tax

From January 2015 the standard rate tax band will increase by €1,000: from €32,800 to €33,800 for single people and from €41,800 to €42,800 for married couples with one income. The higher rate of income tax will reduce from 41% to 40%.

The threshold for exempt income under the rent-a-room scheme is being increased to €12,000 per annum in 2015.

From 2015 tax relief on water charges at the standard rate of 20% will be available, up to a maximum of €500 per annum (which means a maximum €100 tax credit). This relief will be paid in arrears.

The Home Renovation Incentive is being extended to include renovation and improvement of rental properties owned by landlords who pay income tax.

The threshold for the artists’ exemption will be increased by €10,000 to €50,000 in 2015. The exemption is also being extended to non-resident artists (to people who are resident or ordinarily resident in another EEA State).

The Seed Capital Scheme is being rebranded as "Start-Up Relief for Entrepreneurs" (SURE) and being extended to people who have been unemployed for up to 2 years.

Universal Social Charge (USC)

Incomes of €12,012 or less will be exempt from USC. Once your income is over this limit, you pay the relevant rate of USC on all of your income.

Proposed standard rate of USC (2015)
Rate Income band
1.5% Up to €12,012.00
3.5% From €12,012.01 to €17,576.00
7% From €17,576.01 to €70,044.00
8% From €70,044.01 to €100,000.00
8% Any PAYE income over €100,000
11% Self-employed income over €100,000

Proposed reduced rate of USC (2015)
Rate Income band
1.5% Income up to €12,012.00
3.5% All income over €12,012.00

Reduced rates of USC apply to:

  • People aged 70 or over whose aggregate income for the year is €60,000 or less
  • Medical card holders under 70 whose aggregate income for the year is €60,000 or less

'Aggregate' income for USC purposes does not include payments from the Department of Social Protection.

Deposit Income Retention Tax (DIRT)

A relief from DIRT on savings used by first time house buyers towards the deposit on a home is being introduced.

Valued Added Tax (VAT)

The 9% rate of VAT is being retained for tourism-related activities.

From 1 January 2015, cross-border EU telecommunications, broadcasting and electronically supplied services will be charged to VAT in the Member State of the consumer and not the supplier. As a net recipient of these services, it is estimated that Ireland will gain VAT revenues of €100m in 2015, rising to €150m in 2019.

Excise Duties

The excise duty on a packet of 20 cigarettes is being increased by 40 cent (including VAT) with a pro-rata increase on the other tobacco products, with effect from midnight on 14 October 2014.

The excise duty on roll-your-own tobacco is being increased by an additional 20 cent (including VAT) per 25g pouch with effect from midnight on 14 October 2014.

The enactment of the Betting (Amendment) Bill 2013 will allow for the extension of Betting Duty to remote operators and betting exchanges in 2015.

The Vehicle Registration Tax (VRT) reliefs available for the purchase of hybrid electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, plug-in electric vehicles, and electric motorcycles are being extended to 31 December 2016.

The special relief reducing the standard rate of Alcohol Products Tax by 50% on beers produced in microbreweries which produce not more than 20,000 hectolitres per year is being extended to apply to microbreweries which produce not more than 30,000 hectolitres per year.

A 30 day deferral of excise duty on mineral oil is provided for. To allow for Revenue to revise the collection system, this measure will be subject to a commencement order. This has an Exchequer cash-flow cost but does not impact general government deficit.

The excise rate for Natural Gas and BioGas as a propellant will be set at the current EU Minimum rate and this rate will be held for a period of 8 years.

Capital Gains Tax

The property purchase incentive relief from CGT (for the first 7 years of ownership) for properties purchased between 7 December 2011 and 31 December 2014 is not being extended beyond 31 December 2014. Where property purchased in this period is held for seven years the gains accrued in that period will not attract CGT.

Windfall tax provisions introduced in 2009 which apply an 80% rate of tax to certain profits or gains from land disposals or land development, where those profits or gains are attributable to a relevant planning decision by a planning authority, are being abolished from 1 January 2015.

Corporation Tax

The 25% R&D tax credit applies to the amount of qualifying R&D expenditure incurred by a company in a given year that is in excess of the amount spent in 2003. This 2003 base year restriction is now being removed from 1 January 2015.

The current restrictions on capital allowances for the provision of specified intangible assets will be removed.

The accelerated capital allowances for energy efficient equipment were due to expire at the end of 2014. Following a review by the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, this measure is being extended to the end of 2017.

Agri-Taxation Review / Farming Measures

Income tax measures for farmers include:

  • Increase the amounts of income exempted from long term leasing by 50% and introduce a 4th threshold for lease periods of 15 or more years with income of up to €40,000 being exempted
  • Allow relief where the lessee is a company
  • Remove the 40 years of age threshold for leasing relief
  • Allow income averaging where there is on-farm diversification
  • Increase income averaging from 3 to 5 years

The VAT flat-rate scheme compensates unregistered farmers for VAT incurred on their farming inputs. The flat-rate addition will be increased from 5% to 5.2% from 1 January 2015. The flat-rate addition is reviewed annually in accordance with the EU VAT Directive and the increase to 5.2% in 2015 continues to achieve full compensation for farmers.

Farm restructuring CGT relief is available where the first transaction in the restructuring (e.g. sale, purchase or exchange of land) is carried out by 31 December 2015 with the restructuring to be completed within 24 months. The deadline for the completion of the first restructuring transaction is being extended to 31 December 2016.

Teagasc certification guidelines are being amended to enable whole farm replacement to be eligible for the farm restructuring relief subject to meeting the conditions laid down by Teagasc.

CGT retirement relief is being amended so that, subject to other conditions, land that has been leased for up to 25 years in total (increased from 15) ending with disposal will qualify for the relief.

Amendments to CGT retirement relief are also being made to provide (in the case of land disposals outside the family) that land currently let under conacre arrangements which end with disposal on or before 31 December 2016 or which (before 31 December 2016) is instead leased out for minimum periods of 5 years to a maximum of 25 years ending with disposal will, subject to other conditions, also qualify for CGT retirement relief.

Changes are being introduced to target CAT agricultural relief to active farmers. From 1 January 2015, and subject to other conditions, the relief will be available only in respect of agricultural property gifted to or inherited by active farmers and to people who are not active farmers but who lease out the property on a long-term basis for agricultural use to such farmers.

Agricultural leases of between 5 and 35 years in duration to active farmers will be exempt from stamp duty.

Consanguinity relief, which applies to transfers of non-residential property to certain relatives, is due to expire on 31 December 2014. This relief, which halves the applicable rate of stamp duty, will be extended for a period of 3 years in certain circumstances where the transferor is 65 years or under and the transferee is an active farmer.

Social Welfare

Total social welfare expenditure in 2015 will be €19.415 billion. There are no changes to the rates of primary weekly social welfare payments and pensions.

Return to work supports

The Department of Social Protection will spend over €1.1 billion on employee and employer supports in 2015. A Low Pay Commission will be established in 2015.

Back to Work Family Dividend

A new Back to Work Family Dividend will be introduced for lone parent and long-term jobseeker families with children who find or return to work from January 2015.

This will also apply to lone parent and long-term jobseeker families with children who start or return to self-employment.

The Qualified Child Increase of €29.80 per week will be paid in full for the first year in employment and half that amount will be paid weekly for the second year. This amounts to €1,550 per child in Year 1 and €775 in Year 2.

The Back to Work Family Dividend will be paid in addition to any entitlement the family may have under the Family Income Supplement (FIS) scheme and will not affect the level of the FIS payment.

JobsPlus

There will be a doubling of JobsPlus places from 3,000 to 6,000 to incentivise employers to hire long-term unemployed people from the Live Register. Employers can receive up to €10,000 in monthly cash grants over 2 years for each eligible employee.

A new JobsPlus strand for young people will be launched in 2015 under the Youth Guarantee.

JobPath

€12 million will be provided for the new employment activation programme JobPath.

Payments to families and children

An extra €2 million will be provided for the Department of Social Protection’s School Meals Programme in 2015. This funding will be used to increase funding to existing DEIS schools. Over €349 million will be provided for Family Income Supplement (FIS) in 2015.

The rate of Child Benefit will increase by €5 to €135 per month for each child from January 2015. It is proposed that it will increase by a further €5 in 2016. This will cost €1.97 billion in 2015 and will benefit 613,000 families.

Child Benefit
Number of Children 2014 Monthly Rate € 2015 Monthly Rate € 2015 Annual rate € Yearly Increase from 2014 €
1 child
130.00
135.00
1,620.00
60.00
2 children
260.00
270.00
3,240.00
120.00
3 children
390.00
405.00
4,860.00
180.00
4 children
520.00
540.00
6,480.00
240.00
5 children
650.00
675.00
8,100.00
300.00
6 children
780.00
810.00
9,720.00
360.00

Families with twins receive one and a half times the normal monthly rate for each child. Families with multiple births receive Child Benefit at double the normal monthly rate for each child.

Older people and people with disabilities

There are no changes to pensions and the Free Travel Scheme is unchanged.

The Living Alone Allowance, paid to older people who live alone will be increased by €1.30 to €9.00 per week from January 2015. This will cost €12 million and will benefit 177,500 people in 2015.

Water supports

A Water Support payment of €100 annually (€25 per quarter) will be paid to pensioners, people with disabilities and carers who qualify for a Household Benefits Package. This measure will cost €42 million and will benefit 415,000 households in 2015.

An additional €100 per annum will be paid to all Fuel Allowance recipients who do not already get the Household Benefits Package. Fuel Allowance is paid to people getting long-term payments such as Jobseeker’s Allowance (over 15 months) and One-Parent Family Payment. This will cost €24 million and will benefit 238,000 households in 2015.

Christmas Bonus

A Christmas Bonus of 25% will be paid this December to people getting a long-term social welfare payment (minimum payment of €20) to help with costs over this period. This will benefit over 1.16 million people at a cost of €63.5 million.

The Christmas Bonus will be paid to people getting the following: State pensions, Invalidity Pension, Widow’s/Widower’s/Surviving Civil Partner pensions, Guardian’s payments, One-Parent Family Payment, Deserted Wife’s Benefit, Carer’s Allowance, Pre-Retirement Allowance, Disability Allowance, Farm Assist, long-term Jobseeker’s Allowance, Back to Work Allowance, Community Employment, Job Initiative, Rural Social Scheme, Tús, Gateway, Domiciliary Care Allowance and certain occupational injuries benefits.

Rates: 2014 and 2015

Social Insurance Payments
Maximum Weekly Rates Personal Rate Increase for a Qualified Adult Qualified Child Increase 2014/2015
2014
2015
2014
2015
State Pension (Contributory)
Under age 80
€230.30
€230.30
€153.50 (see Note 1 below)
€153.50 (See Note 1 below)
€29.80
Age 80 and over
€240.30
€240.30
€206.30 (See Note 2 below)
€206.30 (See Note 2 below)
€29.80
Widow's/Widower's/Surviving Civil Partner's (Contributory) Pension/Deserted Wife's Benefit
Under age 66
€193.50
€193.50
€29.80
Aged 66 and under age 80
€230.30
€230.30
€29.80
Aged 80 and over
€240.30
€240.30
€29.80
Invalidity Pension
€193.50
€193.50
€138.10
€138.10
€29.80
Carer's Benefit/Constant Attendance Allowance
€205.00
€205.00
€29.80
Disablement Benefit
€219.00
€219.00
Jobseeker's/Illness/Health & Safety/Injury Benefit
€188.00
€188.00
€124.80
€124.80
€29.80
Maternity/Adoptive Benefit €230 €230
Death Benefit
Under Age 66
€218.50
€218.50
€29.80
Aged 66 and under Age 80
€234.70
€234.70
€29.80
Aged 80 and over
€244.70
€244.70
€29.80

Social Assistance Payments
Maximum weekly rates Personal rate Increase for a Qualified Adult Qualified Child Increase 2014/2015
2014
2015
2014
2015
State Pension (Non-Contributory)
Aged 66 and under age 80
€219.00
€219.00
€144.70
€144.70
€29.80
Age 80 and over
€229.00
€229.00
€29.80
Carer's Allowance
Under age 66
€204.00
€204.00
€29.80
Aged 66 and over
€239.00
€239.00
€29.80
Disability Allowance/Blind Pension
€188.00
€188.00
€124.80
€124.80
€29.80
Widow's/Widower's/Surviving Civil Partner's (Non-Contributory) Pension
€188.00
€188.00
One-Parent Family Payment
€188.00
€188.00
€29.80
Pre-Retirement/Desterted Wife's Allowance
€188.00
€188.00
€124.80
€124.80
€29.80
Jobseeker's Allowance - aged 26 or over
€188.00 €188.00 €124.80 €124.80 €29.80
Aged 25
€144.00 €144.00 €124.80 €124.80 €29.80
Aged 18-24
€100.00 €100.00

€100.00

€100.00

€29.80
Supplementary Welfare Allowance - aged 26 or over
€186.00 €186.00 €124.80 €124.80 €29.80
Aged 25
€144.00 €144.00 €124.80 €124.80 €29.80
Aged 18-24
€100.00 €100.00 €100.00 €100.00 €29.80
Farm Assist
€188.00
€188.00
€124.80
€124.80
€29.80

Note1: for those under age 66 years

Note2: for those aged 66 years or over

Family Income Supplement (FIS)
Family size 2014 income limit 2015 income limit
1 child
€506.00
€506.00
2 children
€602.00
€602.00
3 children
€703.00
€703.00
4 children
€824.00
€824.00
5 children
€950.00
€950.00
6 children
€1,066.00
€1,066.00
7 children
€1,202.00
€1,202.00
8 children or more
€1,298.00
€1,1298.00
The level of FIS payment will continue to be based on 60% of the shortfall between net weekly family income and the applicable weekly family threshold.

Other Social Welfare Payments
2014 weekly 2015 weekly
Guardians Payment (Contributory) €161.00 €161.00
Guardians Payment (Non-Contributory) €161.00 €161.00
2014 monthly 2015 monthly
Domiciliary Care Allowance €309.50 €309.50
2014 annually 2015 annually
Respite Care Grant €1,375.00 €1,375.00
2014 - once off payment 2015 - once off payment
Widowed or Surviving Civil Partner Grant €6,000.00 €6,000.00
2014 weekly 2015 weekly
Living Alone Allowance €7.70 €9.00

Housing, Employment and Business, Education and Training

Housing

A total of €808.3 million is allocated for housing programmes.

A new Social Housing Strategy will be published shortly. It will outline a range of actions to increase social housing supply.

Social housing

Local authorities are to provide 946 housing units through direct building and acquisition.

440 housing units will be provided through voluntary housing bodies and co-operatives.

Up to150 new homes will be provided in the community for people with disabilities who are leaving institutional care and 400 new housing units will be provided for people with specific needs.

1,000 vacant housing units will be refurbished and brought back into use in 2015. An extra €3 million will be provided for regeneration/remedial works in disadvantaged communities.

€40.4 million will be provided for approximately 7,600 housing adaptation grants for older people and people with a disability.

It is expected that 8,000 households will transfer from Rent Supplement to the new Housing Assistance Payment. Up to 2,000 new transfers are expected under the Rental Accommodation Scheme.

Approximately 3,000 leased housing units will become available during 2015.

€10 million is allocated for the mortgage-to-rent scheme.

Homelessness

Funding for homelessness services is increased by €10.5 million to €55.5 million.

Traveller accommodation and support

Funding of €4 million will be provided for the management and maintenance of Traveller halting sites and to fund social workers on related duties.

Housing tax reliefs

The Home Renovation Incentive will be extended to include rental properties owned by landlords subject to income tax.

There will be relief on DIRT paid by first-time buyers on savings towards the deposit on their home.

Tax relief at 20% will be provided on water charges, up to a maximum of €500 per year, paid in arrears.

Rent Tax Relief will continue to be reduced, as announced in Budget 2011:

Maximum qualifying amounts for 2015
Single under 55 yrs €600
Single over 55 yrs €1,200

Married or in a Civil Partnership, Widowed or a Surviving Civil Partner, under 55 years

€1,200

Married or in a Civil Partnership, Widowed or a Surviving Civil Partner, over 55 years

€2,400

No new changes were announced to Mortgage Interest Relief, which only applies to mortgages taken out by 31 December 2012. The previously announced rates and ceilings will apply in 2015 in accordance with the tables published by Revenue.

The threshold for exempt income for Rent-A-Room Relief is increased to €12,000 per year.

Employment and Business

The 3 Year Relief for Start-up Companies provides relief from corporation tax on trading income (and certain capital gains) of new start-up companies in their first 3 years of trading. This relief is being extended to new start-ups in 2015. A review of the operation of this measure will take place in 2015.

Funding for Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) has been increased. It is expected this will help the LEOs to support the creation of up to 1,600 new jobs, to provide Start Your Own Business courses to over 3,000 participants and to assign almost 2,800 mentors to their clients in 2015. Funding of €3 million has also been allocated to a Trading Online Programme. This will allow LEOs to support at least 2,000 small businesses to trade online.

The Employment and Investment Incentive is being extended by:

  • Increasing the amount of finance that can be raised by a company to €5 million annually subject to a lifetime maximum of €15 million.
  • Increasing the required holding period for shares from 3 to 4 years.
  • Extending the inclusion of hotels, guest houses and self-catering accommodation in the scheme by a further 3 years.
  • Including management and operation of nursing homes, medium-sized enterprises in non-assisted areas, and internationally traded financial services certified by Enterprise Ireland in the scheme.

These changes are subject to the approval of the European Commission.

Accelerated Capital Allowances for Energy Efficient Equipment is a measure to incentivise companies to invest in energy efficient equipment. This was due to expire at the end of 2014 and is being extended to the end of 2017.

The Special Assignee Relief Programme is being extended for a futher 3 years until the end of 2017. In addition the:

  • Upper salary threshold is being removed
  • Residency requirement is to only require Irish residency
  • The exclusion of work abroad is also removed
  • Requirement to have been employed abroad by the employer is being reduced to 6 months

The Foreign Earnings Deduction is being extended for 3 years until the end of 2017. In addition:

  • The list of countries eligible is being extended to include Mexico, Chile and certain countries in the Middle East and Asia;
  • The number of days that employees are required to be abroad in a year is being reduced to 40 days
  • Travel time will be included as time spent in a country to make it easier for smaller companies to send employees on trade missions and the minimum stay in a country is reduced to 3 days

Research and development funding provision of €250 million for Enterprise Ireland and Science Foundation Ireland in 2015.

Supports for unemployed people

JobsPlus: The number of positions for long-term unemployed people on the JobsPlus scheme is being doubled to 6,000. In addition, a new JobsPlus strand for young people will be launched early in 2015 under the Youth Guarantee.

The Seed Capital Scheme is being rebranded as "Start-Up Relief for Entrepreneurs" (SURE) and being extended to people who have been unemployed for up to 2 years.

In 2015 the Pathways to Work strategy will be supported by €1.6 billion and will be made available to provide approximately 300,000 work and training places.

The JobPath initiative has been allocated €12 million in 2015. This will match long-term unemployed people with appropriate training and employment opportunities.

Community Employment (CE) will be given almost €16 million in additional funding and total funding of €373 million for 25,500 places in 2015, including:

  • €29 million for 2,200 places on the new 3-year community-based childcare programme
  • €15 million for over 1,000 places on the Drug Rehabilitation Schemes
  • Roll-out of the new Health and Social Care programme

The Local Community Development Programme supporting one-to-one labour market training for 10,000 people who are distanced from the labour market will end in Q1 2015. Its successor, the Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme (SICAP) will support a further 30,000 people in 2015. €46 million is being invested to increase access to formal and informal educational activities and resources, and to increase people’s work readiness and employment prospects.

Education and Training

The pupil/teacher ratio in all schools will remain unchanged.

New education posts will be created. There will be 900 new classroom teachers, 480 new resource teachers and 365 new Special Needs Assistant (SNA) posts. Of the 365 new SNA posts, 145 will be in place by the end of 2014 and 220 posts will follow in 2015.

Early childhood education inspectors

Recruitment of new early childhood education inspectors will begin in 2014.

Further education and training

270,000 further education and training places will be maintained.

Student Grant

Under the Student Grant Scheme, students will get 4 months of maintenance payments before the end of December and 5 months of payments in the following year (from the 2015–2016 academic year). Currently, 3 months of payments are made before the end of December and 6 months of payments are made the following year. This measure is to reduce financial difficulties experienced by students due to the fact that the academic year now starts earlier in many higher education institutions.

Institutes of technology

€10 million will be invested in facilities and equipment in Institutes of Technology in 2015.

Capital projects

Schools: The 2015 Large Scale Projects Programme will be announced later this year. It is expected that over 50 large scale school projects will reach substantial completion in 2015. School places will also be delivered by the Additional Accommodation Scheme.

Universities: Three capital projects will be funded in Irish universities in 2015: a major library project at the University of Limerick (€10 million); a new Human Biology Building at NUI Galway (€7 million); and the construction of the Confucius Institute at University College, Dublin (€3 million).

TUSLA

Funding to support TUSLA in delivering its child-centred services increased by €26 million to €635 million.

Dedicated funding

Literacy and numeracy strategy funding increased by €6 million to €13.8 million.

Junior cycle reform increased by €5 million to €9.3 million.

Other dedicated funding includes funding for Music Generation (€1 million) and high speed broadband (€3 million).

Health, Environment, Other Announcements

Health

Free GP care

Free GP care will be introduced for children aged under 6 years and adults aged over 70, subject to negotiations with the Irish Medical Organisation.

No change to the income thresholds for the medical card or GP Visit Card.

Prescription drugs

No change to the income threshold for the Drugs Payment Scheme. Prescription charges also stay the same.

BreastCheck

BreastCheck cancer screening will be extended in 2015 to include women who are over 65 years of age and under 70.

Delayed discharge initiative

€25 million is allocated for initiatives to reduce delays in discharging patients from hospital, so improving waiting times for admission.

Mental health services

€35 million is allocated for mental health services, including mental health care delivered in the community in line with A Vision for Change.

Disability services for children and young people

€6 million is allocated to the Services for Children and Young People Programme (under 18 years of age) to achieve targeted reduction of waiting lists. €12 million is allocated for school leavers (aged over 18) to maintain services to these users at a similar level to 2014.

Environment

€10 million is being made available to replace funds spent by local authorities following the damage caused by severe storms earlier in 2014.

There will be continued investment under the Rural Water Programme (which provides capital funding to the Group Water sector) to assure water quality and implementation of EU directives on water quality. €38.4 million is allocated under “Water Service” in 2015.

The allocation for the Environment and Waste Management Programme will go towards promoting protection of the environment, including investing in remediation of landfill sites. €34.8 million is allocated under “Environment and Waste Management” in 2015.

Other Announcements

Corporation Tax and international tax planning

The 12.5% Corporation Tax will not change. This rate will continue to be a key element of Ireland’s Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) strategy.

Changes to our residency rules to require all companies registered in Ireland to also be tax resident. This will eliminate the ‘Double Irish’ tax scheme. This legal change will take effect from 1 January 2015 for new companies. For existing companies there will be a transition period until the end of 2020.

A ‘Knowledge Development Box’ (also known as a patent box) with tax and other incentives will be put in place to encourage foreign direct investment in the intellectual property and new technology areas.

Garda recruitment

An additional 200 recruits will enter Garda College in the coming months.

Additional funding will allow for approximately 400 new Garda vehicles.

Policing and justice sector reform

Additional funding will be provided to a number of organisations, including the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) and the Garda Inspectorate, to support reforms across the policing and justice sector.

Pension levy

The additional 0.15% pension levy on pension funds introduced for 2014 and 2015 will expire at the end of 2015.

Public Sector recruitment

From 2015, Government departments will have discretion over staffing levels within an overall pay framework.

Recruitment into the Civil Service is expected to begin again next year.

Arts and Heritage

Funding will be provided for a programme of commemoration projects related to the social and political developments of 1912 to 1922.

Horse and greyhound racing

An additional €6 million a year for 3 years will be provided to the fund for horse and greyhound racing. €5 million will be allocated to Horse Racing Ireland in 2015 for investment in race courses.

Structural Funds

Ireland has secured €1.2 billion in Structural Funds for the period 2014-2020. This represents an increase of 8% over the previous seven-year period and includes a special allocation of €100 million for the Border, Midlands and Western region.

A new PEACE Programme will be put in place for the border counties of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

International Aid

It is expected that Ireland will provide some €600 million in international aid in 2015.

Page edited: 16 October 2014

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