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'Despite reliefs we will still be paying more'

Laura Haugh, who oversees the growing website MummyPages.ie, is "very disappointed" with the Budget.

"When you take everything into account, especially property tax and water charges, we will probably be worse off next year," she said.

"The tax relief on water charges has softened the blow a little, but I'm really disappointed there was no tax concession on childcare.

Ms Haugh (right) is the mother of James (5) and Lucy (3), and says that even though James is in the free pre-school year, childcare costs her more than €1,000 a month.

"Giving an extra €5 on child benefit is just a drop in the ocean. It's the price of a packet of socks," she said.

"I would much rather have seen child benefit left as it was and tax relief introduced for childcare."


She said she was disappointed with the level of cut to the Universal Social Charge, but was relieved there was no increase in VAT, petrol and car charges.

She also welcomed the widening of the tax bands and the drop in the top tax rate from 41pc to 40pc.