Saturday 3 December 2016

All that pain, so little gain

■ Budget worth €5 a week to workers and pensioners

Kevin Doyle, Niall O'Connor and Charlie Weston

Published 12/10/2016 | 02:30

Finance Minister Michael Noonan makes his way to Government buildings in Dublin to deliver the Irish Budget. Photo: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
Finance Minister Michael Noonan makes his way to Government buildings in Dublin to deliver the Irish Budget. Photo: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

The first Budget of the 'New Politics' era will deliver just €5 a week for most workers and social welfare payments recipients.

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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.

Irish Independent

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