Sunday 22 October 2017

Tax burden means that welfare wins over work in scatter-gun Budget plan

TD Róisín Shortall said 58pc of workers earn less than €35k Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins
TD Róisín Shortall said 58pc of workers earn less than €35k Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins
John Downing

John Downing

Well, so much for those Leo Varadkar slogans about helping "people who get up early" and supporting the "people who pay for everything".

We have struggled to find incentives for lower-paid people to go and take a job in the documentation accompanying Paschal Donohoe's Budget 2018. Right enough, there is a 30 cent increase in the minimum wage from next January, bringing it to €9.55 per hour.

And there is the easing of USC from 2.5pc to 2pc, which is of special interest to people on very low wages in the €12,000 to €18,000 per year income bracket. By the Finance Department's own calculations, the minimum wage increase and lower USC rates mean between €6 and €9 per week extra for a worker in this income range.

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