Fantasy Budget 2024 – Winners Presentation

As we continue to promote a career in tax at third-level, the Fantasy Budget competition asks college students to think like a Minister for Finance while exploring the measures announced in the Budget. In teams of up to four students, they critically analysed three key measures – one impacting individuals, one for Irish businesses, and one for foreign investment. Then, channelling their inner Minister for Finance, they propose their own Budget measure.

With the support of their lecturers, teams from across the country’s third-level institutions entered Fantasy Budget 2024 with a creative, entrepreneurial flair. Each submission was truly thought-provoking and made our esteemed judges, Jim Power and Brendan Keenan, job very difficult.

We are delighted to announce that Fantasy Budget 2024 first place goes to Trinity College Dublin’s Anna Coghlan, Jovan George Mathew, and Jiayu Yang. Followed closely by impressive 2nd and 3rd place teams from DCU and University of Galway, respectively.

On Wednesday 31 January 2024, our President, Tom Reynolds, welcomed the three teams, their lecturers and the competition judges to our offices in Grand Canal Dock. It was an enjoyable lunchtime event to celebrate the winning teams’ achievement and to present them with their prizes. See photos from the event on our Flickr account.

Thank you to all participants! This year’s submissions were a very high standard. You can read more about the winning submissions below.

1st Place – Trinity College Dublin

Anna, Jovan and Jiayu, with the guidance of their lecturer Ciara Deane, critique the implementation timeline of the National Childcare Scheme while examining the effects of the enhancements to the R&D tax credit and Ireland’s competitiveness post the introduction of the global minimum tax. Donning the hat of the Minister for Finance, they recommend introducing excise duty on pesticides to address the depletion of Ireland’s biodiversity.

First place winners from Trinity College Dublin with the Institute President
L – R: Tom Reynolds, Institute President, Jovan George Mathew, Jiayu Yang, Anna Coghlan, and Ciara Deane, Lecturer.

2nd Place – DCU

Under the tutelage of Patrick Mulcahy, the 2nd place team from DCU – Paul Dolan, Karl Hartley, Aoibhe Collins and Fiachra Fitzpatrick – analyse the Free School Book Scheme and its economic impact on families, and the once-off grant, Increased Cost of Business Scheme, aimed at SMEs. Similarly to the winners, they consider how Ireland can remain competitive with the introduction of Pillar Two global minimum tax. For the final part of their submission, this DCU team’s proposal focused on mental health and the dual impact of investing more into the services in Ireland – a reduction in homelessness and reduction of pressure on our prison system.

Second place from DCU with the Institute President
L – R: Tom Reynolds, Institute President, Karl Hartley, Aoibhe Collins, Paul Dolan, Fiachra Fitzpatrick, and Patrick Mulcahy, Lecturer.

3rd Place – University of Galway

University of Galway’s Adam Carton, Courtney Heal-Powell and Tommy Earls, with the support of Charles O’Mahony, consider the new Mortgage Interest Tax Credit, analyse the effectiveness of changes to the Employment Investment Incentive Scheme (EIIS), and look at the R&D tax credit changes in relation to attracting foreign direct investment. In their role as the Minister of Finance, the team address the housing crisis with a grant for private builders or persons commencing construction on their principal private residence. Their hope is that it will offer first-time buyers another option and have a knock-on effect on rent levels.

Third place from University of Galway with the Institute President
L – R: Tom Reynolds, Institute President, Courtney Healy-Powell, Adam Carton, Tommy Earls, and Charles O’Mahony, Lecturer.