Budget 2013 protects the most vulnerable – Deering.

5th December, 2012

5th December 2012.

Carlow Fine Gael TD, Pat Deering, has said Budget 2013, has fairness at its heart and protects the most vulnerable despite the fact that an adjustment of €3.5 billion is being made.

“The Irish economy has been in a perilous state but following the adjustment made in Budget 2013, the majority of the heavy lifting has been done. The Government recognises the sacrifices made by the Irish people and has made every effort to protect the vulnerable in this Budget.

“In order to work our way out of our programme of assistance and regain our economic sovereignty, we have to bring our general government deficit below 3% by 2013 and bring our spending commitments into line with the revenue we are generating. The hard work of the Irish people is allowing progress to be made on both.

“Despite having to take €3.5 billion out of the economy, the Government has protected core social welfare rates, with Jobseeker’s Benefit and Jobseeker’s Allowance unchanged, and maintained income tax rates so that people have certainty about their take-home pay. There have also been no changes to carer’s payments or disability allowances.

“Where our older citizens are concerned, State pension rates will remain the same to ensure that the elderly are shielded from reductions. Where payable, the rate and the duration of weekly fuel allowances have also been protected.

“Where health and education are concerned, an additional €50 million is being provided for mental health and primary care so that we can meet the needs of those who are struggling to cope and so that the ill can be cared for close to home in their community. DEIS schools will be provided for through targeted supports and there will be no changes to the number of resource teachers or SNAs assisting our children.

“This budget is probably the most difficult one the Government will have to implement. By ensuring that economic growth is supported, that the wealthier pay their share and that reform of the political system continues while frontline services are protected, we can build on the progress we have made to date and ensure better management of our resources.

“Last year saw modest economic growth with the same expected for this year. If we stay on course we will get ourselves back to where we want to be; the best small country in the world in which to do business, in which to work and in which to grow old gracefully. And we can begin again to look to the future with confidence.”