'€100 put on home carer's tax credit doesn't come close to alleviating pressure'
Stay-at-home parent Pauline O'Reilly believes her choice to care for her children at home is not valued, with a meagre €100 increase in her home carer's tax credit.
The mother of two gave up her career as a solicitor in Galway seven years ago to rear her children Finn and Cara, now aged 10 and six.
"Last year there was a huge concentration on affordable childcare and loads of money was put into that and it was worth over €1,000 to a family of two working parents, and we're supposed to feel that €100 of a home carer's tax credit is to be celebrated."
She feels the Budget has pushed the country towards two parents working outside the home, who then must use crèches.
Ms O'Reilly favours a flexible childcare allowance that allows all parents to decide for themselves what suits their families.
"The home carer's tax credit is there to in some way make up for the tax individualisation, but that doesn't even come close," said Ms O'Reilly, a volunteer member of the Stay-at-Home Parents' Association.
"I mean, you could be talking about a tax bill increase of around €4,000 for a family if one parent stays at home and that's with a salary of around €50,000, so that's a massive discrepancy and there was only €100 put on the home carer's tax credit.
"That doesn't come close to alleviating the pressure.
"Some people might say, 'well it's your choice', but I don't think we should have a country where we're no longer allowed to make any choices."