Subscriber OnlyBudget 2024Analysis

What will this year’s budget package mean for you?

Mortgage holders the biggest winners, but many other groups benefit from cuts, grants and bonuses

It might be classified as another Late Late Show budget as there was something for everyone in the audience with tax cuts, welfare increases, changes to the minimum wage and a raft of one-off measures rolled out to help people deal with the enduring cost-of-living crisis.

The big winners – if that is not too strong a word – will be the thousands of Irish households earning in excess of €70,000 with a tracker mortgage. This cohort will see their finances improve by more than €2,000 once all the budgetary measures announced by Minister for Finance Michael McGrath take effect.

Many others, including those on welfare and lower incomes, will also be better off after Budget 2024 with all the tax and wage measures and the series of one-off measures likely to be worth €1,500-€2,000 over the course of next year.

But while the tax changes and one-off measures announced will undoubtedly be welcomed by many and should be acknowledged as significant, they also have to be looked at in the context of the cost-of-living crisis.


The past two years have been punishing for most Irish people and many are worse off by at least three times what the budget will give back when the higher cost of home loans, groceries and energy are totted up.

Unveiling his budget, much of which had been widely flagged in advance, Mr McGrath said – with a degree of understatement – that “household budgets are stretched for many” but he insisted that “living standards will improve for the vast majority in the coming months”.

While he is not wrong in saying things should be better than they might have been for many people as a result of the budget, it would be wrong to say that things are going to return to where they were before the cost-of-living crisis kicked in in earnest almost two years ago.

The widening of the top tax band by €2,000 means people will not pay the highest rate of 40 per cent until they earn above €42,000.

For a single person with an income of €70,000 or a married couple with one household income at the same level, this tax change will be worth €400 a year.

The cut in the higher rate of the Universal Social Charge from 4.5 per cent to 4 per cent will be worth a further €235 next year, while the changes to the entry rate to the lower USC rate is worth €71.

Budget 2024: What it means for households and businesses

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Changes to the tax credits will be worth an additional €200 so the person or household earning a single income of €70,000 will pay €906 less in tax in 2024 when compared with 2023. A person earning €55,000 will pay about €830 less in income tax.

The mortgage interest relief for those most impacted by 10 successive interest rate increases from the European Central Bank since July 2022 will be worth a maximum of €1,250 with a homeowner with a tracker mortgage who has seen their monthly interest payments climb by about €400 likely to benefit by about €700 over the course of a year.

The relief will be on the table for those with a home loan of €80,000-€500,000 at the end of last year and will cover changes to mortgage repayments over the course of 2023.

The three energy credits to be applied to electricity bills between now and next spring will be worth a total of €450 each – one before Christmas and two after it.

Welfare payments have increased by €12 a week which will be worth a total of €624 over the course of 2024 while the double payments just before and just after Christmas will be worth just under €500.

It is certainly bad news for one subset of Irish society with the only budgetary black cloud descending over the State’s smokers who have been hit with a 75 cent hike in the price of a packet of cigarettes which will cost a 20-a-day smoker almost €200 and see the annual cost of the habit climb above €6,000 for the first time.

The rent credit has been widened from €500 a year to €750 and while most of Ireland’s renting class will welcome the additional €250 they are to be given next year, it will be quickly swallowed up by the sky-high cost of accommodation and will amount to less than a week’s rent for many people.