Recovery will be felt inside every door, says Noonan
Economic recovery will be felt "inside the door of every household", Finance Minister Michael Noonan pledged, as he outlined a range of measures for the Budget.
However, in a move which is sure to anger some rural communities, he claimed the recovery was not just being felt in Dublin but had now "spread widely across the country".
Mr Noonan promised that the Government would introduce "family-centric" policies to ensure the boost in the economy was experienced right across the country in the coming year.
Speaking at the Fine Gael 'think-in' at Dunraven Arms Hotel in Adare, Co Limerick, he said tax cuts would focus on the hated Universal Social Charge (USC) and tax benefits for the self-employed.
Mr Noonan said the Coalition's long-awaited plan to address the childcare crisis would focus on allowing women get back to work.
He said the Government's social housing programme would focus on building three- and four-bedroom detached and semi-detached family homes.
Tax on cigarettes will also be hiked on "health grounds" when the minister announces the Budget on October 13.
There will also be measures aimed at luring emigrants who left the country during the economic crisis back to Ireland.
"What the parliamentary party want to achieve in our next period in government, is that the growing economy is inside the door of every household and it is felt by every family in the country," he said.
There will be a "whole package of labour force initiatives" that will make it "easier to go to work".
"We must continue in reducing personal taxes, to make sure that work pays and that it pays significantly more than welfare," he said.
The minister also said his party members insisted he should focus on reducing the USC. He said it was "hard to justify" the inequality in the taxes paid by the self-employed, especially in relation to PAYE, and said he was "urged strongly" by Fine Gael TDs and senators to address this disparity.
Mr Noonan said this week's growth figures show the country's finances were beginning to stabilise and State's debt burden could be reduced further. He insisted the Government would move away from "boom and bust" policies.