Thursday 29 September 2016

Budget 2016: USC cut worth €1,000 for workers

Kevin Doyle and Niall O'Connor

Published 13/10/2015 | 02:30

Joan Burton's social welfare package will see single elderly person gain €330 a year
Joan Burton's social welfare package will see single elderly person gain €330 a year

The old age pension will be raised by €3 in today's Budget 2016 as the Coalition chases the grey vote, the Irish Independent can reveal.

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The final Budget before the General Election will see Fine Gael and the Labour Party seek to appeal to working families.

Every worker in the country will be €1,000 better off thanks to cuts in the much-hated Universal Social Charge (USC).

The hiring of thousands of nurses, doctors, gardaí and teachers will be promised.

Tánaiste Joan Burton has put together a social welfare package that will see a single elderly person gain €330 a year.

On top of the €3 weekly pension hike, the Christmas bonus paid to all long-term social welfare recipients will be restored to 75pc, or €173. And the fuel allowance will be raised by €2.50 a week.

Ministers Michael Noonan and Brendan Howlin will target their speeches at four sections of society: low- and middle-income earners, retired people, vulnerable groups, and families.

The centrepiece will be a 1.5pc cut to the 7pc rate of the Universal Social Charge.

Other measures include a €550-per-year tax credit for the self-employed, a 50 cent increase in the price of cigarettes, and an entrepreneurial package aimed at attracting 70,000 emigrants home. There will be no increase in the price of a pint or spirits.

Child benefit will go up by €5 a month to €140 and paid parental leave of two weeks will be introduced as part of a childcare plan.

Irish Independent

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