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Budget Analysis

In today's article, we examine effective income tax rates for different household-types in Ireland after Budget 2021, and compare them with rates in previous years.

Budget 2021 allocated €867m to Ireland’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) programme; an increase of approximately €30m on the amount pledged in Budget 2020. In these difficult and uncertain times, such a move is warmly welcomed. Time now for Government to publish a pathway towards our UN-agreed target.

Although the potential for a hard-Brexit has been overshadowed by the challenges of Coivd-19 during recent months, the potential for sudden and significant changes in economic activity and living standards from January 1st 2021 remains a major threat.

Budget 2021 was the first chance for this Government to show how seriously it is taking its commitment to the creation of a new social contract. Click here to see some of the opportunies regrettably missed.


Social Justice Ireland 
welcomes progress in Budget 2021on carbon tax, and the commitment to ringfence this revenue for sustainability measures.  However we are still a considerable distance from a Just Transtion and the compensation meausures in Budget 2021 are not as comprehensive as they could have been.  

Budget 2021 must be judged by the degree to which it protects people from poverty, equips people and businesses to confront Covid-19 and Brexit, and addresses the climate and environmental crisis. The challenge for Government is to use the fiscal space available to introduce the necessary measures to support incomes and underpin the public health measures to save lives, preserve our economic capacity and prepare for the impact of a no-deal Brexit.  Its response to this challenge in Budget 2021 has been mixed.


Budget 2021 has left Ireland’s poorest people behind as Government decided not to increase core social welfare rates. Despite allocating more resources than any previous Budget in the history of the State, the distribution of those resources was such that the gap between the poor and the better off will widen in 2021 and inequality will increase. This is a totally unacceptable outcome.

Less than 24 hours after Ministers Donohoe and McGrath stood up in the Convention Centre to deliver the Budget speech, Social Justice Ireland published the first full and comprehensive analysis of Budget 2021. Click here to read our analysis, or to view the video of our post-Budget 2021 seminar, delivered the morning after Budget Day.

Budget 2021 follows a series of budgets over recent years that have frequently given emphasis to providing reductions in income taxation. Here we compare the total annual value of these reductions between 2014 and 2020.  

As a policy objective, Ireland can remain a low-tax economy, but not one incapable of adequately supporting necessary economic, social and infrastructural requirements. Our current low tax/low investment model is not sustainable and we regret that Budget 2020 did not take greater steps to address this.

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