October 7, 2017 / 11:08 AM / a year ago

Ireland to boost budget package to 1 billion euros - Irish Times

DUBLIN, Oct 7 (Reuters) - Ireland is set to almost triple the amount available to cut taxes and increase spending in next week’s budget through a series of additional revenue raising measures, the Irish Times reported on Saturday.

Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe has just 350 million euros in spare resources - far less than the expansionary budgets of the last two years - but the Irish Times said it understood the final package would be between 900 million and 1 billion euros.

A spokeswoman for the finance ministry said she could not comment on the budget ahead of its presentation on Tuesday.

Governments usually give themselves some additional wriggle room on budget day through small hikes in excise duties on tobacco and alcohol and ministers have said they are examining revenue raising measures.

However generating up to 650 million euros would go far further than recent years.

The Irish Times said a substantial increase in stamp duty on commercial property from the current rate of 2 percent was expected to be included.

When laying out the options for possible policy changes in July, the finance ministry said such a measure warranted consideration and that each one percentage point increase would yield around 100 million euros.

Boosting the package to 1 billion euros would likely allow the government to meet its goals of increasing the relatively low threshold at which people hit the higher rate of income tax and trimming the amount they actually pay while also sticking to the agreed 2:1 ratio of spending increase to tax cuts. (Reporting by Padraic Halpin Editing by Jeremy Gaunt.)

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