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Tuesday October 14, 2014 22:34 by fred
A pre election sleight of hand giving out a few pennies to the poor with one hand while taking them back with the other via water charges?
Here is some information on some of the changes
Lots of the usual media spin on this years budget as ministers discuss it in the chambers. With elections coming up, of course, and a key win for the socialists recently, you would expect that FG would make a few mealy mouth concessions to dampen down anger at the string of austerity budgets that have raised the income of the top earners by around 8% or more while the income of the poor has fallen by about 25% or more in the same period.(CSO report, see here for source )
Anyway, here are some of the changes:
living alone allowance
up 1.30 per week from 7.70 to 9.00 per week ( that's not even enough buy a decent tin of catfood for your cat)
up 5.00 per month.(that's little johnny's toilet paper sorted for the month so)
an extra 25% of your payment. Wow...a massive 47.00 extra for single person on dole to get through xmas. Lavish gifts and champagne all round this year boys!
They are saying this will rise to 50% next year but once they are in again for another term, don't bank on it for at least another 5 years!
The xmas bonus applies to anyone on one of the following payments:
One parent family payment
Deserted wife’s benefit
Long-term jobseeker’s allowance
Back to work allowance
Rural social scheme
Domiciliary care allowance
920 new mainstream teachers, 480 resource teachers and 365 new special needs assistants provided for
this is something positive at least
Booze is left alone but the fags are taxed by 40c more per pack. Time to give them up! Your lungs will thank you. And you are less likely to end up at the mercy of an underfunded and inefficient creaking HSE for a lung operation when you get cancer.
Car tax and petrol have been left alone this year it seems.
Higher band and top rate reduced. Top rates in at 33,800 and various USC rates down by 0.5% and starting at €12,000.
The 2 per cent USC rate will be cut to 1.5 per cent and the 4 per cent rate will fall to 3.5 per cent.
normal rate of income tax will be reduced from 41% to 40% (why??)
This rate will now start to kick in at 33,800 for single person and 34,800 for a couple
High rate remains the same at 52%.
A higher 8 per cent USC rate will be levied on incomes above €70,000.
The 0.6% pension levy will end in 2014, (and the government is committed to eliminate the remaining 0.15% in 2015)
Good news! the "double irish" tax dodge loophole for MNCs is finally to be closed
Bad news: it will take them another 6 years to actually do it. Meanwhile a new "knowledgebox" loophole has been opened for them
Noonan also removed a number of restrictions on the Special Assignee Relief Programme (SARP). It means that 30% of a foreign executive’s salary over €75,000 will be tax exempt.This provision had a ceiling of €500,000 but Michael Noonan has removed that cap entirely.( Expect a flood of tax dodging foreign executives to take up fake residence here.)
Some small concessions given. The unemployed in receipt of fuel allowance will now get 100.00 p.a.towards water charges
There will be tax relief on up to 500.00 of water charges for the employed (worth max of 100.00 p.a.)
These can easily be reversed later on of course
misc new investment measures
€1.6 billion for jobs programmes.(more corporate welfare. you're all going on scambridge folks!) This includes a doubling of those on the wage subsidy scheme JobsPlus, €450 million in capital funding for job creation and €260 million for research and development.
€25 million to tackle late discharges from hospitals
€2.3 billion for prescription medicine subsidies ( lots of money made available for overpriced named drug corporate welfare?) and €3 billion for older and disabled people
€530 million on capital projects in schools
€35 million to improve child detention services
A special €100 million structural fund for the Border, Midlands and Western region
€14 million in aid for Syria, €10 million for Palestine and €16 million for Sierra Leone and Liberia, as part of a €600 million foreign aid budget
An increased budget for Defence, that will see the Naval Service replace old vessels
A vague ' "strategy to harness Ireland’s “ocean wealth” ' (does this mean we get our fisheries back from the EU?? hah!)
household incomes will be left broadly unchanged. They have been pushed up by €458m in income tax cuts but offset by €300m in new water charges in 2015
A few miserly pennies given with one hand to try to buy off certain voting blocks in the next election. The pennies mostly taken back with the other hand through the likes of water charges.
Profits for MNCs and salaries and pensions and generous allowances remain protected for politicians and top civil servants.
There will be 200 more gardai available to enforce road taxes and menace democratic protesters, Also some more teachers and special needs assistants (that's welcome!)
links and related analysis:
actual budget document as a pdf
Austerity isn't over - michael taft
The 'Taxes' on Living Standards the Government Won't Be Addressing
the journal coverage
Double Irish tax scheme axed; Conventional wisdom wrong again - Part 1
Caption: pearse doherty