How the 2014 budget could affect you
The 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.
- 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.
- No increase on income tax or the USC (universal social charge), yay!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.