Housing and property:
*The Government is allocating more than €1.8 billion for housing next year with the Minister saying some 3,800 new social houses would be built in 2018 by the local authorities and approved housing bodies.
* Mr Donohoe said there would be an additional €149million for the Housing Assistance Payment, which would enable an additional 17,000 households to be supported and accommodated next year, and a €116 million spend on homelessness, up by €18 million on this year.
*The Minister said he was providing a further €500 million for direct building which he hoped would lead to an additional 3,000 new build social houses by 2021 in addition to the existing 47,000 target.
*A new agency, Home Building Finance Ireland, is being created to use Nama’s experience and provide cheap loans to developers. It will be funded by monies from the Irish Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF) to the value of €750 million.
*Mr Donohoe said the stamp duty on non-residential property was lowered to 2 per cent to stimulate the market and “it worked” and now it is being increased to 6 per cent from midnight tonight.
He said this was still well below maximum rate of 9 per cent charged between 2002 and 2008. A stamp duty refund scheme will be available to house builders subject to certain conditions.
*The controversial help to buy scheme of grants for first time buyers, which offers an income tax refund of up to €20,000 for buyers of newly built homes, is being retained.