Hardware Association Ireland (HAI) welcomes the announcement in Budget 2017 of the extension of the Home Renovation Incentive (HRI) scheme by two years until 2018 as proposed in our pre-Budget Submission. This will serve to continue to boost the sector whilst construction activity recovers.
Minister Noonan announced a Help to Buy scheme which will provide a rebate of income tax paid over the previous four tax years up to a maximum of 5% of the purchase price of a new home up to a value of €400,000, to first-time buyers of new houses. Pro rata rates will apply to lower priced houses and a full rebate calculated on €400,000 will also apply to houses in excess of €400,000 and up to €600,000. No rebate will be paid on house purchases in excess of €600,000. Second hand properties are not included in the Help-to-Buy measure.
HAI CEO, Annemarie Harte, comments ‘Although this scheme will help first time buyers to save their deposit, without the balance of increased supply it will serve to drive house prices up’.
Minister Donohoe announced €1.2 billion for 47,000 new social homes by 2020 as part of Minister Coveney’s Rebuilding Ireland plan and €50 million additional funding to the Local Infrastructure Activity Fund. This ambitious plan will need sustained funding to deliver the required number of housing units identified.
The Earned Income Tax Credit for the self-employed is to be increased by €400, bringing it to €950.
An additional €5 million allotted to the Revenue Commissioners for the recruitment of 50 additional staff and additional investment in systems and equipment. HAI hopes this will serve to tighten activity in the shadow economy and particularly to clamp down on the illicit solid fuel trade.
HAI welcomes increased funding to the Rural Development Programme by €107 million. Announcement of €15 million allocated to progress procurement phase of National Broadband Plan is also welcomed.