Budget 2017 Announcements:
Home Renovation Incentive (HRI) The Home Renovation Incentive is extended for two more years, to end on 31 December 2018. This will allow additional time for landlords and homeowners to make the necessary renovations to their properties, and provide additional support to the construction sector for another two years.
Help To Buy
Help to Buy (HTB) Incentive A Help to Buy incentive is being introduced which is designed to assist first-time buyers with obtaining the deposit required to purchase a home or, first-time home owners looking to build their own home (self-builds). The incentive will only be available in respect of principal private residences. The relief will take the form of a rebate of an amount equal to income tax (including DIRT) paid over the previous four tax years. The maximum rebate available will be up to 5% of the purchase price of a new home valued at up to €400,000. Where a new home is valued between €400,000 and €600,000, the maximum rebate (i.e. €20,000) will continue to be available. No rebate will be available for new purchases costing over €600,000 or new-builds valued at over €600,000. The relief will be linked to a mortgage being taken out for a minimum of 80% of the purchase price, or in the case of a self-build, 80% of the valuation approved by the mortgage provider. Relief will be provided at deposit stage (signing of contract) or, in the case of a self-build, following the drawdown of the first tranche of the relevant mortgage. The incentive will be available, where all of the conditions are met, in the period commencing on 19 July 2016 and ending on 31 December 2019. Claimants will be able to apply online to Revenue for the relief from January 2017.
Minimum Wage in Ireland 2016
Minimum Wage Levels hadn’t risen in Ireland since 2007 – but they were increased on 1st January 2016. The increased levels were officially announced in Budget 2016.
These are the new hourly minimum rates of pay that are in force in Ireland from January 1st 2016.
Experienced adult worker €9.15 per hour (was €8.65 )
Over 19 and in 2nd year of first job €8.24 (was €7.79)
Over 18 and in first year of first job €7.32 ( was €6.92)
Aged under 18 €6.41 (was €6.06)
(An experienced adult worker – for the purposes of the National Minimum Wage Act – is an employee who has an employment of any kind in any 2 years over the age of 18.)
Home Renovation Incentive (HRI)
The Home Renovation Incentive is extended for one more year, to end on 31st December 2016.
This will allow additional time for landlords and homeowners to make the necessary renovations to their properties, and provide additional support to the construction sector for another year.
Set your cylinder thermostat to 60°C/140°F and your water will be hot enough for bathing and washing. This can save up to €15 per year.
If you use a particular light for an average of four hours or more a day, then replace it with an energy-saving equivalent – which will use around a quarter of the electricity and last up to 12 times longer. Each energy efficient bulb fitted could give you an estimated saving of €10.50 off your energy bill per year.
Heat the amount of water you really need and if you’re using an electric kettle, make sure you cover the elements. More modern kettles have no visible element so you use less water, you could also try to fill a cup and use it as a guide to fill the kettle, so that you boil the right amount of water.
At night pull the curtains to stop heat being lost through the windows. Ensure not to drape curtains over the radiator as this will funnel heat straight out of the windows.
Turning the thermostat down by just 1°C can cut as much as 10% off your heating bills. Consider heating your home for an hour less a day and you will also save on your running costs.
Television, Hi-Fi and Computers
Standby can use as much as 10%-60%of the electricity that would be used by the device if it was switched on. Ensure to switch off your TV, video and Hi-Fi at the set. Also don’t forget to turn your Computer monitor off, as it too wastes electricity if left on.
When purchasing kitchen appliances such as fridges, freezers, dishwashers and washing machines, opt for a more energy efficient appliance. An EU Energy Label should be displayed (A to G Scale) on appliances for sale in order to help you make a choice, “A” being the most efficient and “G” being the worst for energy.
Tumble driers consume high amounts of energy so try to use washing lines or airers.
The Construction Industry Federation (CIF) has welcomed the latest increase in construction employment, saying it is a sign of the “continued recovery” in the sector. According to the latest CSO Quarterly National Household Survey, employment in the construction sector grew by 6,300 in the last quarter (Q1 – 2015).
Total construction employment now stands at 122,700, up from 116,400 at the end of 2014. During 2014 employment in the sector grew by 13,100 with construction responsible for 45% of all the additional jobs created in the economy.
“These are very positive figures and they highlight the continued recovery of the construction industry into 2015,” said CIF Director General Tom Parlon. “Having a jump of over 6,000 jobs in a single quarter is a real sign of the growing vitality of the construction sector. We have been saying for years the quickest way to create jobs was to generate construction activity. We are now seeing that being borne out.
“Former construction workers still account for the largest portion of unemployed people in this country. Every time a construction job is created it is taking people off the dole, with the minimum of fuss. At this stage there are still a large number of former construction workers who can move relatively seamlessly into full time employment with little retraining required. As the sector advances this will not always remain the case but for the time being there are still a lot more unemployed construction workers who will be able to get back to work quickly if activity in the industry continues to increase.
“In 2014 we estimated that an additional 10,000 construction jobs would be created, the industry has exceeded that figure. We have recently published our ’12 Steps for 20,000 Construction Jobs’, if all the measures in this document were implemented further jobs would be created. There is substantial additional scope for creating construction jobs if the blockages to sustainable activity are removed,” Mr. Parlon concluded.
SOURCE – CIF
Something worth while checking out, if you are considering any Home Improvements
Finance (No 2) Act 2013 and Finance Act 2014 provide for a Home Renovation Incentive (HRI) Scheme, which will run from 25 October 2013 to 31 December 2015 for Homeowners and from 15 October 2014 to 31 December 2015 for Landlords. The Incentive provides for tax relief by way of an Income Tax credit at 13.5% of qualifying expenditure on repair, renovation or improvement works carried out on a main home or rental property by qualifying Contractors.
Qualifying expenditure is expenditure subject to the 13.5% VAT rate.
The works must cost a minimum of €4,405 (before VAT) per property, which will attract a credit of €595 per property. Where the cost of the works exceeds €30,000 (before VAT) per property, a maximum credit of €4,050 per property will apply.
The credit is payable over the two years following the year in which the work is carried out and paid for. The first year for HRI tax credits is 2015 for Homeowners and 2016 for Landlords.
The works must be carried out on or after 25 October 2013 and up to 31 December 2015 for Homeowners and on or after 15 October 2014 and up to 31 December 2015 for Landlords. 2013 payments, made between 25 October 2013 and 31 December 2013, are treated as 2014 payments for Homeowners. 2014 payments, made between 15 October 2014 and 31 December 2014, are treated as 2015 payments for Landlords. Homeowners or Landlords must be Local Property Tax and Household Charge compliant in order to qualify under the Incentive. Landlords must also have complied with the Private Residential Tenancies Board registration requirements. Contractors must be VAT and RCT registered and tax compliant in order to qualify to carry out works under the HRI.
The Incentive will be administered through Revenue HRI online. All works, payments and claims will entered to HRI online.
LOCAL PROPERTY TAX – STATS
Fed up with the cost of running your Immersion just to have a shower?
If your Boiler needs to be upgraded or replaced. Why not look at the most obvious solution. A Combi Boiler
What’s a combi boiler and how does it work?Combination boilers are capable of providing instant hot water and heating while saving space within a home.The conventional arrangement in Ireland is to have a normal boiler which heats the radiators via a sealed water circuit. By “sealed” it is meant that the water is contained within the system, going around in a loop between the radiators and the boiler.To heat the “domestic hot water” (i.e. the water that comes out of the hot taps) the storage cylinder in the hot press has a coil in it through which the “radiator water” flows.The disadvantage with this arrangement is that if the cylinder does not have hot water in it you have to wait some time for the coil to heat it up.A ‘combi’ boiler is a boiler which combines both a conventional boiler for radiators and an independent water heater, together in the one unit. This dispenses with the hot water cylinder in the hotpress. But better still, it means that hot water is always available instantly and for as long as you need it. Running at 98% efficiency, it’s very cost effective and will pay for itself 3-4 years.
• Get your boiler serviced regularly by a qualified RGI Gas Installer. A Boiler service costs around €60.
• If you regularly use an open fire or log-burning stove, get the chimney swept every year. €60 well spent for peace of mind.
• Make sure your gutters and downpipes are clear, as this can lead to rotten fascia’s and soffits. An average
3 Bedroom semi detached house will cost about €100 for Gutters and Downpipes to be cleaned.
• A well-insulated hot water cylinder can save you money and keep your water, hotter for longer. A Lagging Jacket can be supplied add fitted for about €45.
• If you know how to, bleed your radiators, as air pockets reduce their efficiency
• Familiarise yourself with the location of your mains water stop valve. This is usually found under the stairs or under the kitchen sink. If there is a burst pipe, you can shut off the water quickly.
• Make sure your water pipes are properly insulated to avoid them freezing. Inside and out. Mains water can also be easily turned off at your new Water Meter. There is a key for this purpose supplied inside the Meter Housing
Check the attic has adequate ventilation and is properly insulated. Approx. 25% of the heat you produce goes directly out through your roof, on average 3 bed semi-detached house will loose about €400 a year this way.
• Check windows and doors for draughts – fit draught excluders or repair seals as necessary
• When required, wipe condensation off windows to help prevent build-up of mould and damp. Blue / Black Mould can be harmful to Asthmatics, it can be remided by instaling permanant ventilation, – consider buying a de-humidifier if the problem is persistent, say, in a damp environment.