Budget 2022 – spending decisions

 

Sir, – Your excellent Budget 2022 coverage runs to 12 pages. Like the Budget itself, it is of necessity thinly spread.

What your lead story describes as “a giveaway €4.7 billion budget” provided for €4.2 billion in additional spending and about €500 million in tax reductions. The tax measures equate to €2 a week for each of our citizens but even this was too much for Patricia King, general secretary of Ictu (“Spending spread wide in ¤4.7bn giveaway”, October 13th). In her world, exchequer spending should continue to be without limit, as it is in the loudly articulated party policy of Sinn Féin.

Total Government expenditure for 2021 is projected as being of the order of €90 billion. Would that the media and Patricia King devoted as much attention to this behemoth as they do to the annual budget circus which plays around with a small fraction of this sum.

Paul Williams (Letters, May 26th) called for a forensic look at where the State is spending our money.

It is long overdue. Michael McGrath, as Minister, might remember that the public expenditure (and, lest he forget, reform) brief should involve a little more than just expenditure, at which he has shown himself to be an adept. – Yours, etc,

PAT O’BRIEN,

Mooncoin,

Co Kilkenny.

Sir, – The Late Late Show is synonymous with “there’s one for everyone in the audience”. Budget 2022 had that air, with lots of miserly fivers and such like swirling around like confetti but not a lot to cheer out loud about.

Sure, there’s always Budget 2023. I can’t wait. -Yours, etc,

AIDAN RODDY,

Cabinteely,

Dublin 18.

Sir, – Neither the Government nor Opposition has grasped the nettle which is causing the exit of thousands of property owners from the market.

Over the years, the Irish Property Owners’ Association has outlined the causes of these much-needed investors leaving the market, taxation over 50 per cent, needless compliance, rent control, the abolition of the affordable bedsit, and complicated legislation. All this has caused and will continue to cause homelessness and a shortage of affordable accommodation. Allowing all legitimate expenses to be offset in the year they occur would go a long way toward encouraging landlords to remain in the sector and new entrants to invest.

Tenants are our customers, and we want to facilitate their needs, but we are being pushed out of the market, at a very high cost to the exchequer. Investment funds have been given vast taxation breaks to supply the market with upmarket expensive accommodation and the traditional suppliers are being priced out. Remember that the traditional suppliers are under severe rent control constraints and they supply some 300,000 homes when the investment funds supply approximately 10,000.

The State needs to put in place conditions to encourage investment, to retain existing accommodation and treat investors in the rental market in an equal and fair manner, taxing letting property as a business.

The exodus of small investors is likely to increase, and it will have a significant detrimental impact on the sector leading people with capital to invest their money in an alternative asset class. – Yours, etc,

STEPHEN FAUGHNAN,

Chairman,

Irish Property Owners’

Association,

Dublin 15.

Sir, – It is interesting to note that after 2025, when the benefit-in-kind (BIK) tax is eliminated on electric cars, the BIK payable on electric vehicles (EVs) will be more than the BIK paid on the combustion-engine equivalent of the same model.

EVs are already considerably more expensive to purchase than a petrol or diesel vehicle but in previous budgets the Government saw fit to remove Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland incentives for companies purchasing electric vehicles, making them even more expensive.

How can the target of a million EVs be possibly met when the State has already signalled that it is going to apply higher BIK to the drivers of electric company cars, even more than filthy diesel cars, after 2025? – Yours, etc,

GAVIN TOBIN,

Rathcoole,

Co Dublin.

Sir, – Telling the Dáil not to leak the Budget in advance of the Minister’s speech is like asking a sieve not to drain. – Yours, etc,

AINE HOLT,

Baile Átha Cliath 15.