Tuesday 24 September 2019

'I'm off to the duty free' - Irish people have mixed emotions after Budget 2018

Zoe Whitmore and Amy Molloy

Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe might have delivered mostly good news in today's Budget, but that hasn't stopped Irish people finding fault somewhere.

The hike in the price of cigarettes to €12 has some people planning a trip to the airport.

"Today I don't care about anything except the Neil Diamond concert. I'll worry about it tomorrow...but it's duty free for me now," one woman said.

The increase in the minimum wage to €9.55 was welcomed by everyone, particularly students working part-time.

"I was pleasantly surprised by the increase in the minimum wage and even though it's only 30c, it's going to make a difference, because it all adds up and goes towards the cost of my education," one Trinity student said.

While many appreciate the incentive behind the sugar tax and hike in cigarettes, that still doesn't mean they're happy about it.

"It's going to effect the cost of my mixers for nights out," one young woman said.

The major changes announced in Budget 2018 include a reduction in the USC to 2pc and the 5pc USC rate is being dropped to 4.75pc.

Families with a stay-at-home parent will benefit from €100-a-year in the form of an increase in the home carer credit to €1,200-a-year.

When it comes to public services, there will be 800 new gardai and 1,300 new teachers, as well as 1,000 new SNA's.

It is expected that 3,000 new social homes will be built, while mortgage interest relief is to be cut on a phased basis.

There will also be an increase in all welfare payments by €5 from March.

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