Taoiseach defends Budget stance
on 15/10/2013 11:23:31
As the Government prepares to unveil details of the budget, the Taoiseach insisted the €2.5bn worth of tax hikes and spending cuts was central to rebuilding the economy.
"There are two elements to that, to exit the bailout programme and provide incentives and investment for job creation," Mr Kenny said.
With some budgetary details leaked within the last 48 hours ahead of the announcement, pensioners can expect to be among the hardest hit.
Finance Minister Michael Noonan will take to his feet at 2.30pm to unveil the taxation measures due to take effect, followed by Public Expenditure Minister Brendan Howlin who will confirm planned cuts in public spending.
The speculated budget measures include:
:: Scrapping of the monthly telephone allowance of €9.50 for pensioners
:: An increase in prescription charges from €1.50 to €2.50
:: A rise from 33% to 41% in Dirt tax - the tax paid on interest earned in bank accounts
:: Reduction in jobseekers' payments to €100 for new entrants under 25 - those aged 25 getting €144. Age requirement for full rate of €188 to be increased to 26
:: Scrapping of the mortgage interest supplement for new entrants from January - with the scheme phasing out over four years
:: One in 10 pensioners over 70 to lose their full medical card and get a GP-only card instead - to be determined by income
:: Scrapping of bereavement grant - funds to help cover funeral costs worth €850 to families of the deceased
:: Between €170m and €200m in cuts in the Department of the Environment - mainly in housing
:: Cuts across the Department of Education to fund the introduction of the rent-a-book scheme in primary schools
:: Introduction of a new bank levy worth €200m to the Exchequer
:: Pupil-teacher ratio will remain untouched
:: Free GP care to all under-fives