Budget 2013: the nation holds its breath

Mon, Dec 3, 2012, 00:00

A call was made last week to move the budget from its regular December slot in an effort to boost pre-Christmas consumer spending.

It is certainly true that the nation’s adults wouldn’t mind hitting the pause button, with little expectation of any good news in Budget 2013 on Wednesday.

The Government may have said there will be no additional austerity measures beyond the €3.5 billion planned adjustment, but that hardly offers comfort to the nation, with Budget 2013 to be the budget of the property tax.

The day marks Minister for Finance Michael Noonan’s second budget and with it a host of spending cuts, tax increases and misery.

Accountancy firm Grant Thornton expects tax bills to soar following the budget, due to a combination of increased PRSI and universal social charge (USC) contributions, reduced pension relief and a property tax. It expects the USC to be increased from 7 per cent to 8 per cent and to 10 per cent on incomes of more than €100,000.

A reduction of tax relief on pension contributions from 41 per cent to 20 per cent is also forecast, as is a property tax levied at 0.25 per cent of a property’s value.