Budget 2023 – an unprecedented package

Will it be enough in face of looming challenges?

Sir, – The mope within prompts me to ask, what happens next February if we don’t have another €11 billion lying around to paste over the cracks? – Yours, etc,





Sir, – Your headline of €11 followed by nine zeros left no doubt of the sheer size of the “big giveaway” Budget 2023 (News, September 28th).

Had it been double that amount, the tiresome rhetoric of the responses from the Opposition would hardly have been any different. – Yours, etc,



Co Mayo.

Sir, – Thank you to Kathy Sheridan for highlighting issues facing single persons with the cost of living in Ireland which, as she noted, is an increasing demographic. This is a badly neglected area in Irish society (Opinion & Analysis, September 21st).

After yesterday’s budget it is hard not to feel ignored in that in an €11 billion budget there is not one targeted measure for single-person households. However, it can’t be said to be surprising. Many will comment that changes such as PAYE changes, transport changes, etc, apply, and they do; however, families were given a double child benefit payment, reduced college and primary school fees and creche fees, to name but a few supports. Families already benefit from child benefit, increased tax credits (even just for being married, not just for dependant children), free GP care for children and, although arguably inadequate, supports for childcare.

There is not one such support for a single-person household facing similar cost increases in terms of housing, food and energy with one income, while paying higher rates of taxation at the same income, thus subsidising those family supports.

Regressive taxation such as VAT and property tax take a larger chunk of household income than in a household with two incomes.

Society’s general attitude toward single people needs a hard look to be taken – many, particularly women, are hugely shamed and seen as less for being in this position, regardless of how or why it come about.

During Covid, we saw many, many articles on how difficult life was for families, yet very few on the difficulties for anyone who lived alone, particularly during lockdowns.

What is it going to take to change these outdated attitudes? – Yours, etc,



Dublin 3.

Sir, – If you have a problem, throw money at it. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 6W.

Sir, – Budget 2023 was disappointing as it was anticlimactic. An €11 billion spend is sizeable in girth but the impact falls short of what is required to protect ordinary workers and families from the escalating cost of living crisis.

It may provide some temporary respite, with measures such as the €600 energy credit and the standard cut-off point being raised from €3,200 to €40,000 and the main tax credits being raised by €75. However, it does not go far enough to have sustainable efficacy. By failing to impose an energy price cap, the Government has failed to provide certainty to workers and families as the energy credits will surely be gobbled up by price hikes by the energy companies, which have also escaped the imposition of a windfall tax. The Government’s tax approach will see lower- to medium-paid workers gain approximately €190 but those higher earners of €100,000 and above will see an increase of €890. That is just wrong.

As Ibec members and employers sit down with the unions to hammer out pay deals, they should be under no illusion that the unions will be seeking a square deal for workers in a way that has not been granted by this Government and this budget.

This budget may yet throw up more problems than it solves, with a winter of discontent merely postponed to the spring or summer of next year. – Is mise,


Malahide Road,

Dublin 17.

Sir, – My PEBA (Plain English Budget Award) goes to the politician – or journalist – who says “gets” instead of “is in receipt of” and “more than” instead of “in excess of”. – Yours, etc,



Co Wicklow.

Sir, – The Government scored an own goal by not expanding access to cycling, with all of its benefits, to the broader population with its budget announcements.

Such low-hanging fruit could target two of our major social and climate goals: a healthier population and a decreased dependency on fossil fuels.

Even with the Greens in Coalition, it seems that four wheels will always be better than two within the walls of Leinster House. – Yours, etc,



Co Limerick.