Budget 2024: What it Means for Expats in Ireland

Budget 2024: What it Means for Expats in Ireland

Table of Contents

In the midst of a cost-of-living crisis, the Irish government has unveiled its eagerly-anticipated budget package for the year 2024.

Totaling approximately €6.4 billion, Budget 2024 isn’t just about managing daily expenses and finances; it’s about offering hope to those trying to make a life in Ireland work long-term. 

Especially for expats starting a new chapter in a foreign country, this year’s allocation of government funds carries particular significance. 

So, to help you get ahead of this year’s budget and start making plans for your future as an expat, our team is here with all the details about Budget 2024 and what it means for you, your family, and your time in Ireland.

Here’s what you need to know:

Social Inclusion Support for New Arrivals to Ireland

While the details have yet to be ironed out, there’s welcome news for those planning a move to Ireland in the near future. 

As part of Budget 2024, a ‘social inclusion support’ of €11m has been allocated to provide assistance to new arrivals in Ireland.

Part of the Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme (SICAP), this funding marks a major step from the Irish government in trying to promote better social inclusion and equality.

The Impact of Budget 2024 on Taxation in Ireland

In line with previous years, the Irish government has made some important changes to taxation in Ireland for the year 2024.

But what do these changes mean for you?

The good news is that if you’re an expat with a lower income, this year’s tax adjustments are designed to put more money back in your pocket. 

Let’s break down what’s in store for expats like you, and how these tax adjustments might affect your financial situation:

Universal Social Charge:

One of the biggest changes to tax as part of Budget 2024 is the revision of the Universal Social Charge (USC). For the first time in 5 years, the Irish government is reducing the 4.5% rate of USC to 4%.

Going one step further to alleviate the tax burden on lower-income earners, the government has also raised the income threshold for the lower 2% USC rate by €2,840. This means earnings up to €25,760 will now fall under the 2% rate. 

Note: While these changes are set to benefit those with a more modest income, it’s also worth mentioning that the higher USC rate (applicable to earnings above this threshold, up to €70,044) is also seeing a 0.5% reduction to four percent. 

Income Tax Bands:

Given Ireland’s current rate of inflation, it’s no surprise that income tax bands have been adjusted as part of Budget 2024. 

The threshold for the standard rate of income tax, currently set at 20%, is being widened by €2,000. This means that only earnings of €42,000 or more will be taxed at the higher income tax bracket of 40%. 

Tax Credits:

For expats currently employed in Ireland, there’s also some good news on the tax credits front. Personal, PAYE, and earned income tax credits are getting a €100 increase to €1,875 — a small, but welcome token of appreciation for Irish workers.

But that’s not all. 

To help cushion the blow of this winter’s energy bills, the government is also introducing three separate tax credits for households, each worth €150. 

Changes to Social Welfare Benefits

As with every annual budget, social welfare benefits are in the spotlight again for 2024. 

Whether you’re already living in Ireland or are planning your move here, these changes can make a big difference to your financial peace of mind in the coming year.

Here’s a glimpse of what’s in store to support eligible social welfare recipients:

  • All social welfare rates, including the state pension, will see an increase of €12 per week
  • There will be a social welfare Christmas bonus, as well as an additional bonus, paid in January for all social welfare recipients
  • While there’s no change to the Child Benefit rate, parents can expect a double payment in time for Christmas
  • The Child Benefit is now being extended to 18-year-olds still attending school
  • The Increase for a Qualified Child (IQC) payment is rising to €46 per week for children under 12 and €54 per week for those over 12
  • The monthly rate of Domiciliary Care Allowance is also getting a €10 increase
  • The income threshold for the Working Family Payment is increasing by €54 per week
  • The Incapacitated Child Tax Credit is also rising by €200

In addition to the Social Welfare changes listed above, several once-off measures and payments have also been announced.

They include:

  • €400 for people on the Carers Support Grant
  • €400 for people on the Disability Support Grant
  • €200 for people on Living Alone Allowance
  • €400 for people receiving the Working Family Payment
  • €300 for people on Fuel Allowance
  • €100 for people receiving the Qualified Child Increase

Don’t forget! For guidance on how to optimise your financial situation as an expat in Ireland, it’s always best to speak with a local tax or financial expert who can provide tailored advice on your unique circumstances.

Budget 2024 for Families: Childcare & Education

Expats with families or those planning to start one in Ireland will be pleased to hear that Budget 2024 aims to target some family-related matters, including childcare and education.

While not all family-related challenges have been effectively addressed, some key improvements (in addition to the child benefit amendments mentioned earlier) have been made:

  • In September 2024, there will be a 25% reduction in the cost of childcare at creches and other facilities, subsidised through the government’s National Childcare Scheme (NCS)
  • Third-level student contribution fees are being reduced by €1,000 for eligible students in the 2023/24 academic year 
  • Junior Cycle students in state-funded schools are set to receive free school books
  • Schools will benefit from €60 million in additional cost-of-living funding, plus an extra €20 million in core capitation funding (totaling €81 million to restore funding to pre-2011 levels)
  • Renters tax credits are being extended to parents who pay for their student children in “digs” accommodation
  • The hot school meals programme is to be expanded to 900 additional primary schools in April

Healthcare Support for Expats in Ireland

The state of healthcare in Ireland is always a significant concern for expats, with many opting for private health insurance due to insufficient public care options.

While Budget 2024 won’t alleviate all concerns for expats, there have been some noteworthy announcements:

  • A general health service funding increase of €500 million
  • Funding to address waiting lists, including 6 new surgical hubs
  • Increased funding for mental health and completion of Camhs team staffing
  • Expansion of free contraception for women aged 17- 31 inclusive

Tip: For information on how to navigate the healthcare system in Ireland (both public and private health), download our FREE guide for expats in Ireland. 

Additional Insights: Expanding Opportunities for Expats

While not specifically aimed at helping expats settle into Ireland more effectively, there’s no doubt that Ireland’s 2024 budget will be of interest to most.

For example, some widespread changes that might impact not only you, but also your family and friends include:

Minimum Wage:

As of 1 January, 2024, the national minimum wage will increase by €1.40 per hour to €12.70 per hour.

Mortgage Relief:

Homeowners who have seen their mortgage repayments increase due to European Central Bank rate rises will receive temporary tax relief of up to €1,250. 

Note: This temporary relief will be available to homeowners whose principal private residence has an outstanding mortgage balance of between €80,000 and €500,000 as of 31 December, 2022.

Future Ireland Fund:

A “Future Ireland Fund” has been announced that will see Ireland join the likes of Norway and Saudi Arabia with sovereign wealth funds. 

Climate Action and Infrastructure:

To reflect the government’s commitment to sustainable growth, the “tax disregard” for income from selling excess electricity will double. 

Additionally, the zero VAT rate for solar panels is to expand to schools from January 1 next year. An additional €380 million will also be allocated to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and energy bills through community and residential energy schemes.

Support for Small Businesses:

Budget 2024 includes support for small businesses like an increase of the R&D tax credit from 25pc to 30pc and a new Capital Gains Tax relief scheme for angel investors backing innovative small start-ups.

Effectively Optimising Your Financial Situation in 2024

Whether you’re moving to Ireland or are already living here, as an expat, staying informed about the latest budgetary changes is crucial. But, as informative as news articles and Citizens Information can be, seeking professional help is always advised.

To optimise your taxes and maximise your financial opportunities as an expat in Ireland, consider seeking professional support from Expat Taxes. 

Your financial well-being in Ireland is our priority, and we’re here to assist you every step of the way. Book a consultation today!

DISCLAIMER: The material in this article is for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal or taxation advice. Specific legal and taxation advice should be sought before acting or refraining from acting. All information and taxation rules are subject to change without notice. Expats Taxes accept no liability whatsoever for any action taken in accordance with the information in this article or any of the articles in our blog series.

Download Our Guide To Irish Tax

Understand how to navigate the Irish tax system and what tax credits you can avail of

About the Author

Thanks for subscribing. Keep an eye on your inbox for new posts and news!