'The self-employed are starting to get a bit more equality with tax credit'
Self-employed family of four, Kildare
A €550 tax credit is a "step in the right direction" for the self-employed, says marriage and relationship counsellor Diane McDonald.
Diane (42) set up her own counselling service in Maynooth, Co Kildare, this year and she is now hoping that the tax credit for self-employed workers will be further increased in future budgets.
"The self-employed are starting to get a bit more equality with PAYE workers," she said.
As both Diane and her husband Brendan are self-employed, she is all too aware of the lack of a "safety net" with regard to their working lives.
"If we take a holiday we don't get paid. If we take a break or if we get sick, we don't get paid," she said.
As such, she would like to see a measure similar to paid paternal leave brought in for self-employed workers.
To manage the school run and evenings with their children, she and her husband (a voice actor) arrange their appointments to fit around the schedule of their two boys.
"That's one of the benefits of being self-employed, given that we are able to work around each other," Diane said, adding that the couple do not need to use childcare.
The news from the Budget that those earning less than €13,000 in a year don't have to pay the USC could also mean that Diane might not have to pay the charge at all this year.
"I'm just a new business, and in my first year I could come under that," she said.
Free GP care for her children under 12 is also very welcome news for Diane.
However, Diane added that she was still concerned that seriously ill children could suffer as a result of a general roll-out of the scheme.