Monday 20 May 2019

10 things you'll hear an Irish person say on Budget Day

(Stock picture)
(Stock picture)
Louise Kelly

Louise Kelly

Have you got the popcorn ready? The show is about to begin.

But if you don't get a chance to school yourself before the watercooler/bar stool chatter, choose a few of the below to help you fit right in.

Here are ten of the things you’re likely to hear on Tuesday, October 9.

1) "I thought the boom was back, so where's the cash?"

With €2.6bn of the €3.4bn the Government has for new spending already committed for public sector pay hikes and demographics, this leaves just €800m to play around with, and it will be split 2:1 in favour of spending over tax cuts. In short, feck all to go around.

2) "Will this be the year I'll eventually have my own home?"

Not likely. While proposals for a special savings and affordable housing scheme to help first-time buyers, as well as a nationwide freeze on rents nationwide and a vacant home levy have been bandied about as part of Budget 2019, don't expect a dramatic change in circumstance come next January.

3) "That's it... I'm giving up the fags"

Excise duty on cigarettes will increase - but it is not yet decided whether the 50c hike applied last year will be repeated. Nonetheless, even if it is, Tuesday's pledge will most likely change to "I can't believe my fags cost this much" on Wednesday.

4) "So I'm still working to pay the créche fees then"

Children's Minister Katherine Zappone has been exploring how targeted childcare subsidies can be expanded in the upcoming Budget to include more squeezed workers in both the public and private sectors. But costs are still likely to exceed the mortgage payments.

5) "What the hell is carbon tax? And why do I have to pay for it?"

We all (theoretically) love our planet, and our little island, and rolling measures out to mitigate climate change seems like a really good idea - before it hits your pocket. And if you happen to commute in a Diesel car...

6) "Oh yes Brexit - are we still waiting for that?"

While Britain voted in favour of leaving the EU in June 2016, the date of the official exit is March 2019. Six months out from D-Day, businesses, agencies and individuals that will be potentially impacted by Brexit are still calling for extra support. But 'final' discussions are still very much underway.

7) "I wonder if Michael D will get to stay in Phoenix Park"

With none of the fanfare of previous austerity budgets - and not a whole lot of money to go around - many of us have lost interest in what will be announced on the plinth. The presidential election seems Much more exciting.

8) "Can we tap into that €13bn [plus interest] we back from Apple?"

Since the Government does not accept the Commission's analysis in the Apple State aid decision and have lodged an appeal with the European Courts, we're looking at an appeal process that could take, oh, about five years. And then Apple could be getting their cash back. So no.

9) "I couldn't give a toss what colour his tie is"

Refer to 6. Interest in the Budget - without the prospect of much brighter things - has waned.

10) Jaysus, it's all a bit of a wet blanket, isn't it?

The long and short of it is that the amount of money that's left to go around isn't really going to create any major impact. The squeezed middle income earners are likely to be more deflated than most with nothing more exciting than small cuts to the Universal Social Charge (USC) and minor tweaking widening of tax bands on the cards.

Online Editors

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