Budget Day is here

The Cabinet is meeting this morning with just hours to go until the Budget announcement.

Finance Minister Michael Noonan is due on his feet in the Dail at 2.30 where he is expected to announce an  ‘end to austerity’.

No new spending cuts will be announced, and a range of tax cuts are also expected.

The coalition is set to announce an end to the ‘double Irish’ tax system that has allowed some multinationals cut their tax bills.

Tax relief on water charges is also expected.

Around 200 million euro will be announced for social housing, and health is set to benefit from an increased budget, new teachers and Gardai will be hired, but the 250 euro hike in student registration fees will go ahead.

20 cent will be slapped on a pack of cigarettes, but alcohol is likely to be left alone.

The 9% VAT rate on services will be maintained, and the private pension fund levy which is to be reduced to 0.15% next year may be scrapped altogether.