Budget 2017: Cuts to lowest three USC rates announced

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Budget 2017: Cuts to lowest three USC rates announced

File photo: Niall Carson/PA Archive/Press Association Images

The continued phasing-out of the USC in today's budget announcement comes as no surprise, but we now know by exactly how much the charge will be cut.

The lowest three USC rates have been lowered by 0.5% in a move said to be costing €335 million. 

The 1% and 3% bands will drop to 0.5% and 2.5% respectively. The highest rate is now 5%, down from 5.5%.

The entry point to the 2.5% rate will slightly increase, from €18,668 to €18,772, to exclude full-time workers on the minimum wage. 

Newstalk Drive reporter Henry McKean was out speaking to members of the public earlier about what the changes will mean to them:

Other measures include a 2% annual reduction in DIRT for the next four years.

The home carers' credit is to be topped up by €100 to bring it up to €1,100.

The earned income tax credit will rise to €950, benefitting over 147,000 self-employed people.

A new tax on sugar-sweetened drinks, promised as part of the programme for government, will be introduced in April 2018. 

Overall, new tax measures will reduce the burden on taxpayers by just under €300 million, according to Minister for Finance Michael Noonan.

These consist of around €500 million in tax cuts, offset by measures increasing tax revenue, worth €195 million.