All that pain, so little gain
■ Budget worth €5 a week to workers and pensioners
Published 12/10/2016 | 02:30
The first Budget of the 'New Politics' era will deliver just €5 a week for most workers and social welfare payments recipients.
After eight years of cutbacks and tax hikes, the benefits of Budget 2017 were spread thinly with the aim of giving a little to a wide range of voters.
Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and Independents all claimed credit for the various measures in the Budget.
The €1.3bn package includes:
■ USC cuts worth €250 a year for low- and middle-income earners.
■ 10,000 medical cards for disabled children.
■ 50c on a packet of cigarettes.
■ A rise of €5 a week in pensions, among other welfare payments.
■ A €20,000 grant for first-time buyers on newly built houses.
■ A subsidy for parents using registered childcare.
■ Inheritance tax being reduced.
However, there was controversy over the plan to help first-time buyers, with accusations the tax rebate will merely drive up property prices with developers profiting.
The exclusion of stay-at-home mothers and those whose relatives act as childminders from the childcare plan was also contentious.
The Budget was also criticised for failing to prepare for Brexit.