Helping you get through tough times

How the 2014 budget could affect you

Piggy bank and coinsThe annual budget is likely to affect us all in one way or another. It can be a scary time of year, especially if it leaves our wallets lighter, however it’s good to know how it will impact our lives.

Social welfare

  • Jobseeker’s allowance for those aged 18 – 22 reduced to €100 per week
  • Jobseeker’s payments for those under the age of 25 will be capped at €100 per week, for new entrants after 1 January 2014
  • Once you’re 25 the payment will be €144 per week
  • To get the full €188 you will need to be 26 or over.

Pay-packets

  • No increase on income tax or the USC (universal social charge), yay!

Studying

  • The student contribution charge for college will increase by €250 to €2,750.

Doctors and medicine

  • General practitioner (GP) care will be free for children aged five years or younger
  • An increase in prescription charges from €1.50 to €2.50. These charges are paid on each item dispensed to a person who holds a medical card. The maximum a person with a medical card has to pay per month is €19.50 for prescriptions.

Children

  • No change to child benefit payments
  • The extension of the ‘rent-a-book’ scheme in primary schools should mean less money has to be spent on text-books in September
  • Single parents and tax – the ‘one parent tax credit’ is being replaced with a ‘single person child carer tax credit’ of equal value. But only the main carer of the child will be able to claim the tax relief, not both parents
  • There will be no change to the size of classes, and more money has been allocated to hire classroom assistants and teachers.

Out and about

  • The 9% VAT (value added tax) on tourism and hospitality sectors will stay the same
  • Pints of beer and cider and measures of spirits will go up 10c
  • Bottles of wine will increase by 50c
  • Packets of 20 cigarettes will cost an extra 10c

Interest on savings

  • DIRT (deposit interest retention tax) – or the tax on interest from having savings in an account. This will go up from 33 percent to 41 percent.

Flying

  • Tax on air travel will be reduced to zero from April, hopefully encouraging more air-lines to open routes here, making it easier to get in and out of Ireland.

Clothes, driving and heating

  • No increase of VAT (value added tax) which means clothes, petrol, diesel and home-heating oil and gas won’t have a tax increase on top of their cost.

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