Broad swathe of taxes and cuts hits almost every adult in State
Excise duty is going up by 10 cent on pints of beer and cider and measures of spirits, and by a full €1 on a bottle of wine.
Motor tax will rise by between €10 and €126, with a carbon tax on peat and coal to be introduced on a phased basis. Among the main spending cuts announced were a €10 a month reduction in child benefit.
Jobseeker’s benefit will remain the same but will be available only for nine months rather than 12. The reduced rate of USC for those over 70 with an income in excess of €60,000 will be discontinued at the end of the year. Changes to the telephone element of the household benefits package for the elderly will involve cuts in the phone and electricity allowances.
Access to medical cards for over-70s will be restricted with individuals with an income of €600- €700 per week (€1,200- 1,400 per couple) now qualifying for a GP-only card rather than the full card.
Fianna Fail finance spokesman Michael McGrath said low and middle income families and elderly citizens were the “biggest losers” in this budget.
Fine Gael and Labour TDs last night backed the measure by 108 votes to 49.
However, Labour Party chairman Colm Keaveney said it was fortuitous the vote on the Social Welfare Bill was not being taken until January. He said he was unhappy with the changes to PRSI allowances and children’s benefit.
Speaking during a debate on a resolution that eliminates tax relief on lump-sum payments of over €200,000, former minister of State Róisín Shortall asked Mr Gilmore: “On what basis do you believe it’s in any way fair that a person should be able to receive a lump sum of €200,000 entirely tax free? What’s the basis for continuing with that kind of regime?”
Self-assessed property tax introduced, 0.18 per cent of value up to €1 million, 0.25 per cent for properties of higher value. The tax comes into force from July, 2013 and the first full year will be 2014
* Child benefit cut €10
* Motor tax up 15 per cent
* Maternity benefit taxable from July 2013
* Prescription charge up 50 cent to €1.50
* €1 excise increase on bottle of wine, 10 cent on pint of beer/ cider and measure of spirits
* 10 cent on 20 cigarettes
* Third-level registration fees increasing by €250 a year over next three years
* Dirt tax on savings up 3 per cent to 33 per cent
* Capital gains tax up 3 per cent to 33 per cent
* Universal Social Charge applied at standard 7 per cent rate for those aged 70 and over earning more than €60,000