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Ireland Budget 2010 Hits Welfare, Child Benefit & Public Sector Pay
The Irish Budget for 2010 will bring €4 billion in savings for the Government through cuts in social welfare payments, child benefit and public sector pay.
Public sector workers bore the brunt of cutbacks in Lenihan’s Budget with €1 billion in pay cuts ranging from 5 per cent for those on average pay to 15 per cent for those at senior level.
The rest of the €4 billion in savings will come from a €760 million reduction in the social welfare, a €980 million cut in day-to-day spending programmes and €960 million in savings on capital investment projects.
Cuts to Child Benefit will see a €16 euro per month reduction with the lower and higher rates now €150 and €187 per month respectively. Families on social welfare will be compensated with an increase of €3.80 a week in qualified child allowance.
Social welfare recipients face an average reduction of 4.1 per cent with those under 25 facing even bigger cuts.
Dole cuts will see payments reduced by €8 a week with Jobseekers’ benefit and supplementary welfare allowance for those aged 20 and 21 with no dependent children reduced to €100 per week. Those aged 22 to 24 will see a reduction to €150 per week.
In contrast to April’s budget, there were no significant income tax changes. Personal tax credits remain at €1830 for single persons and €3660 for married couples for 2010.
Other major Budget 2010 announcements included carbon tax of €15 per tonne which became effective last night on petrol and diesel. This will see diesel up 4.9 cent per litre and petrol up 4.2 cent. Increases to home and heating oils and gas will apply from May 2010. A vouched fuel allowance scheme will be developed for low income families to offset the increases on fossil fuels.
Home carer’s benefit will be cut by €8.20 per week and an additional 50 cent charge on all prescriptions will be introduced in April 2010.
Excise duty on alcohol will be reduced in an effort to curb cross-border shopping and will see reductions of 12 cent on a pint of beer, 14 cent on a glass of spirits and 60 cent on a bottle of wine. The price of tobacco will stay the same.
VAT will be cut by half a percent from January for a 12-month period.
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