Some Budget 2024 measures came into force at midnight, after the Dáil voted to increase tobacco duties and also maintain the lower VAT rate on household energy bills.
While the vote means pending excise increases on petrol and diesel have been deferred until next year, forecourt fuel prices increased overnight due to a hike in the carbon tax.
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has defended the budget from accusations that it could overheat the economy, saying the Government is confident that the rate of inflation will continue to fall.
The debate on merits of Budget 2024 intensified last night.
Sinn Fein’s finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty accusing the Government of “throwing in the towel” on housing delivery, given Budget 2024 provides no additional capital for home building and there is no increase in the completion targets.
Finance Minister Michael McGrath told RTE’s Prime Time that was just a misrepresentation – because while there will be €5 billion in exchequer capital for the delivery of homes next year, approved housing bodies also provide houses by borrowing from the Housing Finance Agency and not the government.
A Dáil vote last night means that tobacco duties have already increased by 75 cent. The lower 9% VAT rate on household energy bills has been maintained.
The carbon tax means that prices at the forecourts have already increased – adding €1.28 to a 60-litre fill of petrol and €1.48 to a fill of diesel.
However, an increase in excise duties on petrol, diesel and oil, due at the end of the month, has now been postponed until next year.