Cuts and taxes in Budget 2014

Sat, Oct 19, 2013, 01:07

Sir, – The amount of qualifying income for the purposes of the over-70s medical card has again been reduced in the current Budget to €900 for a married couple and €500 for a single person. If this trend continues in the next couple of years the over 70s medical card will be finally abolished by stealth.

It would appear that this Government’s wish is that all pensioners should work until they are 80 or die at 65. – Yours, etc,

JAMES PURCELL,

Hampton Cove,

Balbriggan, Co Dublin.

Sir, – Budget 2014 contains just one change in relation to tax credits in Budget 2014 and it is an outrageous one. Treoir, the National Specialist Information Service for unmarried parents, is extremely concerned at the removal of the One-Parent Family Tax Credit from parents (usually fathers) who are sharing the parenting of their children. This tax credit has up to now been available to both parents who do not live together but who share the parenting of their children. As a result of the change these parents will have less money in their pockets and ultimately it is the children who will suffer.

This blanket approach from the Government will apply to all fathers regardless of their level of involvement in the lives of their children. Some fathers share parenting on a 50/50 basis and must pay a higher rent in order to have an extra bedroom for their child, as do the fathers who have their children two nights a week or less.

Treoir has long been advocating co-parenting as it is widely recognised that it is best for children to grow up with the involvement of both parents in their lives, as long as this is safe, practical and in the best interest of the child.

This measure is a slap in the face to parents who are doing their best for their children and reveals a complete lack of awareness of the challenges involved in co-parenting. Shared parenting is good for children and this change (which will result in an increase in fathers paying at least €30 or more in tax per week) is a gross disincentive.

Treoir calls on the Government to reverse this unjust and unduly harsh measure of Budget 2014. – Yours, etc,

MARGOT DOHERTY,

Assistant Chief Executive,

Treoir,

Lower Mayor Street,

IFSC, Dublin 1.

Sir, – The Budget announcement shows unequivocally that the Labour Party sold us a pup at the last election and can be assured every old dog, the grey vote, will not forget those failed promises.

Locked out in 1913 and locked out again in 2013 by politicians masquerading as parties of the left? – Yours, etc,

PETER MULVANY,

Conquer Hill Road,

Clontarf,

Dublin 3.

Sir, – Your Budget Editorial (October 16th) gave the impression of a reasonable budget and indeed Miriam Lord also seemed underwhelmed. You don’t seem to have read the same Budget as Vincent Browne, who seems to write the sort of journalism The Irish Times used to be noted for, standing up for those without a voice. The ladders are being pulled up, the illusion that we’re all doing it together is swallowed whole, while the people on the fringes have only the mavericks like Vincent Browne to shout for them now. –Yours, etc,

JACK WALSH,

Capel Street,

Dublin 1.

Sir, – I resent the constant claim that the “best and brighest” people have been forced to emigrate. I work, and never emigrated. Why would I get work if there were better and brighter people applying? – Yours, etc,

FRANK NEENAN,

Tullow Road,

Carlow.