Wednesday 13 December 2017

‘We will use latest tax savings to pay for our water charge’

Andrea Mara, pictured with her children Elissa (7), Nia (5) and Matthew (2), hopes Budget 2014 is a turning point.
Andrea Mara, pictured with her children Elissa (7), Nia (5) and Matthew (2), hopes Budget 2014 is a turning point.
Emma Jane Hade

Emma Jane Hade

Working mother Andrea Mara  believes that this was a “neutral Budget” for her middle income family.

While the 40-year-old believes that she will now have to up €100 extra in her pocket from the 0.5pc reduction in her Universal Social Charge, she said that it will be “gone”  in the recently introduced water charges.

“Presumably we will have a little bit of extra money because of the tax, but I suppose at the same time that will be eaten up pretty quickly by the water charges.

“I think I am probably the same as a lot of people who will be saying that ‘yes, it is nice, it is the right direction and it is definitely a good contrast to the last six years,” the Dublin resident said of yesterday’s measures.

“We probably came out neutral.  I am relieved that there are no further austerity measures.”

Both Andrea and her husband work full-time.

She works in the financial services sector and also writes the ‘Office Mum’ blog which chronicles her experiences as a

working mother.

She describes her family as being part of the ‘squeezed middle class’ group. She says that she pays hundreds of euro every month towards the childcare of her three young children, Elissa (7), Nia (5) and two-year-old Matthew.

But overall she said the small “positive changes are welcome”.

“They are tiny compared to what we have lost. But I think rather than looking at the overall difference that they will make, which is very small, it’s more about a long-term trend that we are moving in the right direction. I hope that this is a turning point.”

She has also welcomed the €5 increase to the child benefit, which “has fallen hugely in the last few years. With three kids and huge childcare costs, the child benefit is part of my income that I spend for food for the kids like everyone else,” she added. 

“At the same time for me, that would be an additional €180 for the year and that would pay for their school uniforms. 

“It’s not big in itself, but maybe it is a step in the right direction.”

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