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Budget 2019: How it will impact your wages

11th October 2018

Budget 2019 has been announced. In a video released by the government, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar promised the new budget will positively impact wages. Stating Budget 2019 will mean workers can keep more of their “hard earned money” and will “put money back in people’s pockets.”



A 25% increase in investment in infrastructure has also been announced, to help businesses grow and to address the housing crisis. With regards wages, small changes will be implemented, influenced by the record number of people who are working in Ireland and the number of Irish workers returing home to work. Find all the key impacts on wages and your career below:

Budget 2019 tax changes that will impact wages

Broadly changes were positive, with no increases to personal tax and a slight increase in minimum wage from €9.55 to €9.80.

USC – Universal Social Charge

Cuts to USC, tax payable on income, have been confirmed, which means an increase in the general worker’s wage. The changes are:

The following changes to USC will apply from 1 January 2019.

  • A €502 increase to the €19,372 band ceiling
  • 4.75% rate reduced to 4.5%

Income Tax and USC Rates & Bands from 1 January 2019:

In an effort to address the higher tax rate of low to mid-income earners the standard income tax rate band will be increased by €750 for all earners, from €34,550 to €35,300 for single individuals and from €43,550 to €44,300 for married one-earner couples.

Combined with the USC reduction from 4.75% to 4.5% this will mean that the top marginal rate on incomes up to €70,000 will be reduced to 48.5 per cent and fewer people on incomes around the national average will have any of their wages taxed at the higher rate of 40%.

The ceiling of the second USC rate band will be increased from €19,372 to €19,874 in order to ensure that the salary of a full-time worker on the minimum wage will remain outside the top rates of USC.

The increase in the 2% rate band ceiling will mean that a full-time adult worker who benefits from the increase in the hourly minimum wage rate from €9.55 to €9.80 will remain outside the top rates of USC.

Self-Employed Workers

If you are self-employed, your Earned Income Credit will be increased by €200 to €1,350.

Retirement Age

No new increase in the retirement age was announced, but there are already changes planes. At the moment the State pension is payable at 66. That will rise to 67 in 2021, and to 68 in 2028. These dates are subject to change.

Overall, if you’re currently working in Ireland on a mid/average wage your annual wage should increase as a result of Budget 2019.

If you’re unsure of what salary you should be on, or if your salary is the norm for your industry download our free Salary Guide below.

Cpl Salary Guide

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About the Author

Niamh Keenan

Content Marketing Executive

Group Marketing

Content creator and online editor for Cpl with over 5 years experience writing for digital and creating original content for brands.

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