Amid the chaos of the ongoing pandemic and, of course, Brexit, Budget 2021 did not get the fanfare and weeks of speculation as is usual in the run up to Ireland’s annual Budget Day. This is indicative of just how chaotic things are at the moment rather than any lack of significance. Arguably, Budget 2021 is the most critical Budget of recent years. The total budget package for 2021 will be €17.75 billion and there were no broad changes to income tax credits or bands. There was a significant increase in allocated spending for capital projects and infrastructure, and notably, €132 million for the National Broadband Plan.
In terms of housing, €5.2 billion has been allocated for the Department of Housing, which is an increase of €773 million on the 2020 budget allocation. €22 million has been made available for homelessness programmes, including the provision of additional beds. €29 million has been made available for the preservation and maintenance of heritage sites nationwide. Also, there has been a 7 percent increase in the allocated budget for rural affairs, including the Town and Village Renewal Scheme, which is critical for successful rural regeneration. The €5 million for new digital hubs in rural Ireland is particularly welcomed by this office as it promotes more remote working locally and decreases the need for daily commuting to the capital and other main urban centres.
Significantly, the Land Development Agency – which is tasked with strategically developing land banks across the country that are owned or controlled by the State – will have €1.2 billion of funding available to regenerate these areas and promote positive placemaking. For private developers, the Stamp Duty refund scheme, which effectively refunds a portion of stamp duty paid on the acquisition of non-residential land when it is developed, will be extended until the end December 2022, which is important to stimulate construction activity.
Property Implications of Budget 2021
As expected, the help-to-buy scheme was extended until the end of 2021 at the higher maximum rate of €30,000. This extension, though expected, is very welcome.
€110 million will be made available for affordable and cost rental housing under the Rebuilding Ireland Home Loan scheme, which has proven popular over the past two years.
For social housing, there will be an expansion of HAP (housing assistance payment) tenancies, with 800 more rental accommodation scheme tenancies, which means that 85,000 tenancies will be supported by the State throughout 2021.
For homeowners, there was an overall increase in the home retrofit scheme budget in Budget 2021, with an additional €100 million of carbon tax revenue being allocated towards improving the energy efficiency of our homes. A further €65 million will be made available for deep retrofitting of the existing stock of approximately 2,400 social housing units. While welcoming the increased focus on housing, the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland referred to the “limited retrofit programme [as] a disappointment”.
For your FREE, no obligation, valuation in the South Wicklow and North Wexford area, call into one of our offices (located in Carnew and Gorey) and chat to any of our expert team or you can contact us online at www.KinsellaEstates.ie. We are happy to facilitate overseas buyers and sellers via Skype or similar, outside of regular office hours. Alternatively, email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone: +353 53 94 21718