Galway Bay fm newsroom – The government has unveiled Budget 2019 with more than 66 billion euro to be spent next year.
Paschal Donohoe’s announcement contained no surprises in what’s been the most comprehensively leaked budget to date.
2.3 billion euro will be spent on housing next year including 1.25 billion euro to deliver 10,000 social homes next year.
An affordable Housing scheme has been funded which the government hopes will deliver 6,000 affordable homes.
The health budget will be brought to 17 billion and free GP care extended to an extra 100,000 people.
An extra 84 million has been dedicated to mental health services.
Social Welfare payments will rise by 5 euro a week across the board.
Cigarettes will be 50 cent a pack more expensive while alcohol has been left unchanged.
There’s no carbon tax increase but a 1 per cent surcharge has been put on VRT for diesel cars.
The most contentious measure may be upping the VAT rate for the tourism and hospitality sector to 13.5 per cent.
The Restaurants Association of Ireland has described the move as a dark day for the tourism and hospitality sector.
More at 4pm and full expert analysis on FYI Galway from 5