'USC reductions will help, but they will benefit everyone - not just families'
PAYE family of five, Wexford
The Universal Social Charge may be getting smaller, but mother-of-three Sandra Martin says families still have to contend with the crippling costs of childcare.
Sandra, who lives in Wexford with her husband Jason and their three children, has sought out an au pair in order to avoid high crèche fees.
While she recognised the reduction would make a difference, she was still concerned about other costs.
"The USC is one thing," she said. "But that's going to benefit everyone, not just families."
Sandra and Jason, a full-time accountant, opted out of childcare after the birth of their second daughter.
"I had been paying €730 a month for one child, and that went to €1,300 a month for two children," she said.
Unable to meet the rising prices, Sandra quit her job in a bank to stay at home and mind the children. She is now self-employed and setting up her own website, called QuickSearch.ie.
Nevertheless, she has welcomed the arrival of the free GP care scheme for under-12s, as her eldest daughter was not eligible when the scheme for under-6s came in last year.
"I think it's a great idea," she said.
"I think it's a move towards the English system and a step in the right direction."