Budget focuses on fairness and job creation – Deering.

5th December, 2012

5th december 2012.

Wealthy will pay the most

Carlow Fine Gael TD, Pat Deering, has said the focus of 2013 Budget is on fairness, while working our way out of the bailout and returning our public finances to a sustainable footing. DEPUTY/SENATOR, NAME, added that a number of specific measures have been introduced to ensure the wealthy pay the most.

“The Government has delivered a very difficult budget, which ensures that those who have the most will pay the most, while also focussing on making it easier for small businesses to create jobs. At a time of unprecedented difficulties for our public finances the Government has maintained income tax rates, and secured a range of benefits paid to the most vulnerable.

“There has been no change to the old age pension or to basic social welfare rates. The fuel allowance, free travel and free TV licence schemes for older people, as well as the living alone allowance have all been maintained. Furthermore, the full rate and half rate carers’ allowance have also been maintained.

“There is a clear focus in the Budget on making sure that the wealthiest pay the most. The property tax, which was always going to be a difficult measure to implement, will hit the wealthiest the hardest. In particular, those living in houses worth more than €1 million will pay a higher rate of tax. Capital gains tax, capital acquisitions tax and DIRT tax are all being increased, which will directly impact on the wealthier in society.

“Changes to the PRSI system will also hit higher earners harder. The abolition of the PRSI exemption for self-employed earned income will hit, for example, hospital consultants who earn extra income from private practice. The exemption is also being abolished for unearned income, so those who make money from rental income, shares and other investments will pay more. This is a tax on wealth rather than work.

“Some important changes have been made to pensions; first of all people will be able to access 30% of their AVC pensions, which could be used to pay down debt, facilitate spending or help out struggling family members. And, wealthy retired people who have pensions of over €60,000 a year will now pay more, due to an increase in the Universal Social Charge.

“It is important that politicians also take a hit. The Parliamentary Standard Allowance will be reduced by between 10% and 25%, and the unvouched element will be completely abolished. The Party Leader’s Allowance is being cut, and minister’s severance payments are being abolished.

“After already enduring €24 billion worth of adjustments, it is undoubtedly going to be very difficult for Irish people to take more pain. The Government must implement measures to reduce expenditure by €3.5 billion in the coming year. We are determined to do this in a way that is fair and equitable, and to implement measures that support job creation and limit the impact on the most vulnerable.”