This afternoon, Minister for Finance Michael Noonan stood up in the Dáil (Irish Parliament) and announced the details of his 2015 Budget. Budget day in Ireland is one of the most eagerly anticipated days on the calendar. Unfortunately for many of the last few years, the annual Irish budget has not looked very favorable on many people, with tax increases, pay reductions and spending cuts being a common theme.

As a recent returning emigrant to Ireland, I was quite interested in the day's events. I'm by no means a financial guru or equipped to provide detailed analysis, but I did take note of a few key points from the budget. I'm sure over the coming days and weeks these will be hotly debated on TV and radio (and in pubs) in Ireland. Here are a few of those key details from the budget:

  • 12.5% Corporation Tax will not change
  • 0.15% pension levy to expire at end of 2015
  • Price of 20 cigarettes to rise by 40c with immediate effect
  • Water Charges Relief worth up to €100 announced
  • Entry point for Universal Social Charge raised to above €12,000
  • Civil Service recruitment to resume in 2015
  • New teachers to be recruited
  • €2.2bn capital investment in social housing over three years
  • Tax measures to support farmers announced
  • 9% hospitality VAT rate retained
  • Home Renovation Incentive program for rental properties
  • First-time home buyers savings tax exemption
  • €1.6bn for 300,000 work and training places next year
  • 'Double Irish' tax rule to be abolished
  • €13.1bn allocated for health services in 2015

Not everything on the list above may interest you, but it might give you some food for thought when considering a move to Ireland.
If you want to read more you can find the full report at this link.