Thursday 30 March 2017

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

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

Kevin Doyle and Niall O'Connor

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.

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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