House hunters: James Connell (30) from Sligo and his fiancée Sinead O’Brien (32) from Cork rent in Drumcondra, Dublin. They have been trying to buy a home for two to three years. Ms O’Brien works as a medical scientist and Mr Connell is self-employed.
“Overall, I was quite disappointed in the budget. I thought the €500 rent credit was a bit of an insult considering the cost of rent. The credit doesn’t even put a dent in the average rent, which is more than €2,000 in Dublin. The principle of a tax credit for renters isn’t a bad idea, but the amount was insultingly low. It doesn’t go near far enough to address the issue.
“I think that they should have addressed the income tax issue and reduced income tax. I know they are planning to increase the income threshold for the 40 per cent tax rate to €40,000 for single people. But that ends up worth about €640 to me and my car tax is €660, so it will be gone before you know it. It’s a laughably small amount of money when you think of the cost of goods and the cost-of-living crisis.
“Instead of the Government being logical and reducing spending heavily, reducing taxation and leaving people with money in their account, they have taken a daft approach and keep taking as much money as they can from people and then giving it back to them in bits and pieces. It doesn’t seem like the Government is taking the cost-of-living crisis seriously because if they did, they would’ve reduced taxation because taxation is just too high at the moment.
“There is no mention of cutting funding for NGOs [non-governmental organisations] even though we are in our cost-of-living crisis. NGOs do very good work but when people are going cold and hungry, now is not the time to be throwing money at them.
“The one thing I did see which I thought was very positive was the vacant property tax. That is one of the good things in the budget that will hopefully encourage some more stock into the housing market because the market needs it.
“But for my personal situation, there is very little in the budget for me.”