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IT WAS THE day we had been waiting for – and which will have an impact on all of our lives for the year to come.

TheJournal.ie has been following the Budget 2013 announcements, and breaking down how it will affect you and your fellow citizens.

Click these links for the highlights (and lowlights) of Budget 2013:

It’s noon and we’re firing up the liveblog to bring breaking news/hold your hand for the rest of this Budget 2013 announcement day.

Wondering what’s in store for you? Read Gavan Reilly’s guide to what happens on Budget Day here.

This can’t bode well. Whatever about where the Government plan to find money to push the country through next year safely, it seems this year is costing more than some of them had budgeted for last time out:

Social Protection Minister Joan Burton has asked for an extra €685 MILLION in funding for her department. Not for next year – to cover 2012, of which there are 26 days left. Oh. Read the full story here.

Meanwhile, this is the scene outside Leinster House where TheJournal.ie‘s Paul Hyland has taken this picture. Do you think they are expecting some sort of kerfuffle?

© Paul Hyland/TheJournal.ie

In case you were thinking of having a punt on what colour tie Michael Noonan will be wearing for the Budget announcement, there’s no point. We already know he’s wearing a burgundy one.

Last year, we learned that there are hidden messages in the colour of necktie worn on certain occasions. This is what Allana Gallagher, editor of style website The Weekly Edit, told us.

A burgundy would appear to be the favourite with someone who wants to appear to be in control but also down to earth.

We see what you did there, Michael.

Speaking of gambling, you could always challenge your workmates/schoolmates/relatives/random passers-by to a game of TheJournal.ie‘s Budget Bingo 2013. Play for chocolate buttons. Extra Hob Nobs to the winner.

“Green jersey” “Situation we inherited” “Those who can pay” “On the right track”…. add your own phrases in the comments if you think we missed a platitude.

That was quick.

Rob Munnelly has just sent us this pic with the message: “We’re all set! – Rob, Oisin, Dave & Dixon”.

Nice work, you guys. First one to shout ‘BINGO’ doesn’t have to pay his USC for a year.*

*This might be a promise we can’t make. You might have to check this with the Department of Finance.

Back to the serious business. (More serious than bingo? Afraid so.)

Labour Party chairman Colm Keaveney has announced that his support for the Budget in tonight’s vote is “not taken for a given”. He said this on Newstalk’s breakfast show which, presumably, give Tánaiste and leader of the Labour Party Eamon Gilmore enough time to have a minor fainting fit and get his game face back on for the Budget announcement at 2.30pm.

Read more about Keaveney’s semi-threat of a sort of rebellion here.

You might remember that then-Labour Party TD Patrick Nulty voted against the Government on the Budget last year. He wrote about his reasons for doing so on TheJournal.ie. As a result of voting against the Government, Nulty lost the party whip. He is still a TD, still a member of the Labour Party but not a member of the parliamentary Labour party. The preferred term now is “independent Labour TD”.

Meanwhile, across the pond, the British chancellor, George Osborne, ie, He In Charge Of The Purse Strings, is making his autumn statement.

Apparently, the UK can:

  1. Look forward to austerity until at least 2018
  2. The British economy is to shrink by 0.1 per cent this year – that’s worse than they thought
  3. It’s all the fault of the eurozone*

*summary by Christine Bohan

Sorry about that, George.

This is the rather grim-looking front bench in the House of Commons this morning as Osborne makes his statement to fellow MPs:

(Image: PA Wire)

The Evening Herald is reporting some of the details they believe will emerge in Ministers Howlin and Noonan’s speeches this afternoon.

Are you ready? Here goes:

  • Cigarettes to rise by 10c and the price of a pint to rise from between 5 and 10c at midnight tonight.
  • TDs to have expenses cut by around 15 per cent.
  • OAPs free travel to escape the axe – but that other allowances, eg the Telephone Allowance, will face “curtailments”
  • Over 70s with incomes of more than €60k a year are to see a 3 per cent rise on their Universal Social Charge.

There are a number of other measures which we have heard touted in the last few weeks, which the Herald reckons are going to happen for sure (and with some more specific figures):

  • €10 cut in child benefit
  • School clothing allowance cut by €50 to €100.
  • Increase in prescription charge for medical card holders to €1 per prescription.
  • Student registration fees to go up BY €250 to €2,500.
  • A rise in motor tax of 7 to 8 per cent for most bands – as TheJournal.ie reported on Sunday, the tax increases will roughly follow the hikes in vehicle registration tax. We detailed those for each band here.
  • An increase in the fee for attending an emergency department in a hospital.
  • The Herald reckons the second home charge will be abolished in 2014, but yes, that property tax is on the way for 2013. The mansion tax? 0.25 per cent on houses worth €1 million and over. If this is the case, it will be interesting to see how much revenue the Department of Finance believes this will yield – there can’t be a massive number of houses in Ireland that are still being values over a million euro in this market, can there?

Sorry if all that was a bit much in one go for you.

To make up for it, you could also hop over to our colleagues at DailyEdge.ie who have devised 12 foolproof ways to escape Budget Day. Pets, foolproof disguises, unusual modes of getaway transport all star.

In case you were wondering how TDs are feeling while the rest of us are chewing on our fingernails:

Any suggestions as to what the Cabinet TDs and ministers – and the Opposition – might be chowing down on in Buswell’s and the Leinster House canteen? I’d like to hear it in the comments section please and thanks.

This is what I’m eating right now. I asked the deli person to put in peppers and she forgot. I hope that isn’t some sort of bad omen.

In other news, the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference has just released their “initial response” to the Report of the Expert Group on the Judgement in A, B and C v Ireland.

Despite the timing of the release, just an hour before the Budget 2013 announcement, Sinead O’Carroll will be bringing you more on that story shortly on TheJournal.ie.

It looks like the RTÉ Radio 1′s News at One has been reading the Herald too. They picked up on the fact that “Wine is taking a big hit this year.”

I picked up on that too. I just chose to ignore it for the sake of my sanity.

This is the cover of the Budget 2013 document:

This is the greatest response we’ve seen to it so far:

The budget.gov.ie gave us a bit of a fright there.

They have posted this…

And when you scroll down, it LOOKS like the Budget statement has accidentally been published early…

But on closer inspection, it is LAST YEAR’S Budget statement that has been put there as a holding post…. but under THIS headling:

Seriously, guys, don’t do that.

BREAKING: Alan Farrell, Fine Gael TD for Dublin North, has just tweeted this interesting nugget about the property tax.

Independent TD Stephen Donnelly told RTÉ’s Bryan Dobson would like to see the Budget look at a bit of investment to promote growth – he says we should take the €5 billion euro to be paid to the ex Anglo Irish Bank and NIB and invest it to create jobs and economic growth.  We have a feeling that is going to be popular among most of the citizenry.

Here we go (check the livestream of the announcement which we have kindly embedded for you at the top of this liveblog so you can watch along with us)…

Minister Michael Noonan starts his announcement with a state of the economy type declaration.

It’s generally positive – that we are “emerging from the worst of the crisis”.

The measures of our success though are manifold…

The bailout conditions are being fulfilled. But this is not the only measure of success…

“We must go back to the markets”, says Noonan. We have to a certain extent through the NTMA but it is a “work in progress”.

The real measure of success is growth in the economy, where everyone who wants a job has one, and that the public services in the country are up to scratch.

“This Government will not resile from the task in hand.”

They want to lead the country out of the “despair and despondency and lack of self-worth in which we found ourselves in March 2011″. No direct mention of “we inherited this situation” but you get the point.

Noonan wants to focus on SMEs this year in terms of investment. The export growth is worth focusing on, as we suspected he would, and Noonan announces….

10-Point Tax Reform Plan which includes:

  • reform of 3-year corporation tax relief for start-ups.
  • increase cash receipts threshold  from €1m to €1,35m
  • R&D credit to go from €100k to €200k

He’s looking at micro-businesses too and is putting a rebate on diesel (from July 1, 2013) – to aid transport costs in businesses.

STOP THE INTERWEBZ!

Michael McGrath of Fianna Fáil has interrupted on point of order – says it’s “unprecedented” that we are 10 minutes into the speech and the documentation is STILL not available to the rest of the House. It’s a “disgrace” he says.

Michael Noonan ploughs on -

SMEs to get more credit reviewers to get a timely response

specific guidance to accessing credit from banks

€100m to €400m funds to be made available to help restructuring and other help for SMEs

Local enterprise supports to be bolstered.

Farming and the “agri-food” sector are continuing to perform well, says Noonan.

He is extending the general 24 pc rate and 100 pc of stock relief to 2015

Adding beef to the 50 pc rate of stock relief

Relief from capital gains tax arising from property sales that are related to farm business restructuring. This will be a one-off relief.

Film tax relief up next -

he’s extending the scheme to 2020 but to move to tax credit model in 2016

enhancing the scheme to attract more foreign productions here – more of the funds to go to the productions, not the investors

The Gathering mentioned;

Tourism still getting the 9 per cent reduced VAT rate in 2013

Property:

Noonan will end the mortgage relief for first-time buyers this December but he will provide exemption from new local property tax up to end of 2016 of new or unoccupied purchases for first-time buyers. Will also apply to those on ghost estates.

Looking at targeted incentive in regeneration areas.

The reduction of stamp duty from 6 to 2 pc in comm property helped last year, he says, so he wants to establish Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) – this will help NAMA get rid of some of its portfolio.

25k jobs to be created in construction and other sectors, he estimates, from NAMA putting €2bn into finishing construction.

Alan Farrell, FG TD,  is tweeting that there will be no increase on petrol or diesel, by the way: https://twitter.com/AlanFarrell/status/276335804027129856

Joan Collins TD on property tax: you can defer payment at 4% per year
€150k-€200k will pay €314 a year

8.2 per cent deficit for 2012.

Projections:
7.5 in 2013
5.1 in 2014
2.9 in 2015

€69bn of voted and non-voted expenditure in 2013

€54.5bn of this will be in voted public expenditure (Brendan Howlin to have more on this in his announcement)

The statement is UP: http://budget.gov.ie/budgets/2013/FinancialStatement.aspx

Taxes now.

The pensions issue are under focus now.

Tax relief will only be allowed to pensions designed to deliver an income of up to €60k (from 1 Jan 2014)

The Pensions Levy under the Jobs Initiative will not be renewed after 2014.

Taxpayers’ subsidies will be capped on pensions schemes designed to deliver over €60k per annum.

He says they can’t do much about pension schemes that are already in place. The reduced rate for USC for those with pensions over €60k will be discontinued from Jan 1 2013. The Top Slicing relief for ex-gratia lump sums of over €200k or more will also be discontinued.

People with AVCs will be able to withdraw up to 30 per cent of their value – any withdrawals will be subject to marginal rate relief for three years.

Now, PRSI.

Broadening the base for PRSI contribs – increasing the min level of annual contrib from self-employed from €253 to €500 and abolishing the weekly allowance for employees

Modified income from trades will be subject to PRSI

PRSI will be put on rental income, investment income, dividends, savings

  • Local property tax will, as we mentioned earlier, come in from 1 July 2013.
  • It will be collected by the Revenue Comms
  • Owners are responsible for payment
  • Based on market value of property as assessed by the owner
  • Initial valuation valid up to the end of 2016
  • o.18 per cent up to €1m
  • Properties with a value of more than €100k and below €1m will be at mid-value
  • 0.25 per cent after €1m

Full details of banding on the Budget doc here

Half-year property tax levy this year because it’s only starting on 1 July 2013 – eg, €150k-€200k properties will face a charge of €157.

That’s €57 more than the 2012 household charge for a similar period.

Household charge will cease from 1 Jan 2013, and NPPR charge or second home tax will end on 1 Jan 2014

Any unpaid Household Charge for 2012 will be collected through the Property Tax. EEK.

Income tax.

Noonan says it is one of the most progressive in the world and that the wealthiest pay the highest proportion of tax.

From 1 July 2013, maternity benefit will be “harmonised” with other social welfare payments for tax but it won’t be subject to USC.

On Excise Duty, he is NOT increasing duty on petrol or diesel.

Hikes on alcohol: Beer/ cider – 10c; spirits – 10c extra per litre AND ON WINE, €1 increase on 75cl bottle

10 cents on 20 cigarettes

50 cents on 25 grams packs of loose tobacco

Carbon tax increases

€10 per tonne from 1 May 2013

€20 per tonne from 2014

Noonan asking for Joint Oireachtas Committee to check how they can attract more philanthropy here

Capital tax- thresholds on acquisition tax to increase by 10 per cent; DIRT to increase to 33 per cent

Corporate tax – sorry, France and Germany – is staying put at the low rate the EU don’t really enjoy.

Ireland has also reached a new Inter-Governmental Agreement in FACTA (with the US)

Noonan is now concluding – he says that we’re in a better state, that unemployment fell in Q3, that we are recording stronger retail sales in last few months and consumer sentiment rising.

He says that the Revenue target of €1.1bn for 2014 will be reduced by the carry over effects of Budget 2013 measures; reduces it to €500m or so

In 2015, it will reduce the target by €700m.

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin is speaking.

Plans to reduce public expenditure to €51.1bn next year and capital expenditure to €3.4bn in 2014.

Government’s commitment to whistleblower reform, new powers to Ombudsman, legislation to Oireachtas to hold inquiries, revised ethics and lobbying legislation are mentioned.

Mention of Minister Phil Hogan leads to heckling in the Dáil.

Croke Park Agreement being robustly defended by Howlin here – he’s mentioning how supporting it guarantees support for reductionof Public Service staff – to be further reduced to 282,500 by end 2014.

Top salaries have been reduced by up to 30 per cent and capped at €200k.

Two reductions to general salaries totalling around 14 per cent he says.

Pensions reduced to over €100m savings annually.

He’s outlining other streamlining measures such as shared back-office services, one for the Civil Service to reduce headcount by 17 per cent.

Online services have been improved, and is hoping for productivity and cost savings because of annual leave and sick leave changes.

Total capital expenditure of just under half a billion euro to “drive jobs”.

€175m ten-year Capital Venture Fund.

Restructuring of local entreprise boards – allocation of €26m in 2013

An additional €11m in 2013 and €26m in a full year to allow Dept of Social Protection to outline by 10,000 the number of places in employment and training schemes

The Capital expenditure budget will be €3.4bn for 2013

PPP Schools Bundle 3 – €50m secured

€200m in funding for Exchequer for schools

An additional €11m in 2013 and €26m in a full year to allow Dept of Social Protection to outline by 10,000 the number of places in employment and training schemes
The Capital expenditure budget will be €3.4bn for 2013
Grangegorman campus going ahead this coming year. Luas Broombridge, already announced by Leo Varadkar, €17.4m for new youth detention facility at Oberstown to get u-17 boys from St Patrick’s Institution
€35 million being allocated as seed capital for energy retrofitting funding
Spending in Social Welfare and Health will increase by €150m. €20.2bn ceiling on spend by Social Welfare.
All pensioners under 66 will have their weekly primary payments fully maintained. Weekly fuel allowances won’t be changed.
Pensions will cost more than €200m more next year. Unemployment has not stabilised as was hoped.
Changes to Telephone Allowance scheme and electricity allowance.
NOTE: “We will reduce the duration of jobseekers’ benefits by 3 months.”
Child benefit to be reduced by €10, as predicted.
€13.6bn to go to the Health budget.
The prescription charge for medical card holders to be increased from 50c to €1.50
Monthly cap for family being increased from €10 to €19.50.
Drug Payment Scheme threshold to be increased from €132 to €144
Professional fees for GPs etc. reduced to save €70m
Education -
Fee-paying schools – staffinf schedule increased in 2013 by 2 points
reducing allocation to VECs
Higher-level student contributions will be increased by €250 in 2013, 2014 AND 2015.
In case you’re not listening to the livestream, Brendan Howlin is being heckled A LOT.
Political Expenses
UNVOUCHED expenses to be abolished.
10 per cent reduction to parliamentary allowance.
He’s also cutting leaders’ allowances to independent TDs. Very controversial in the back benches there.
Cross the board reduction of 10 per cent to leaders’ allowances
He wants to abolish the payment of severance pay for current and future officeholders.

Brendan Howlin is finishing up now after a certain amount of bad news for politicians who are emotionally attached to their current level of expenses.

On a positive note, Howlin reckons that we will come through it (he means the general public, not the politicians, I think).

Michael McGrath, Finance spokesperson for Fianna Fáil, is on his feet now that the two ministers have finished their speeches.
He says that the Budget is “shaped more by the respective party political needs of Fine Gael and Labour than by the interests of the nation”.
He reckons that Labour failed to look after the vulnerable, and that no-one is looking after Middle Ireland, while the wealthy are getting away with it.
He decries the 3 per cent increase in USC to those over 70 getting €60k pension, the cuts to child benefit and property tax.

Michael McGrath says the decisions made today are “The decisions made by this government” and that the troika don’t dictate which exact measures need to be taken.

An unsurprising riposte to Michael Noonan’s opening statement.

The property tax is getting a lambast here for being “a punitive tax on the family home” which Michael McGrath says penalises people in major urban areas. He also says it will be felt by people on low to middle income the most. People in arrears – more than 1 in 5 family mortgages are in trouble.

He does, however, welcome some of the measures to help SMEs to get out of the financial quagmire, as announced today.

Michael McGrath, FF finance spokesperson, says that he knows that there will be a cut to respite care of over €300, bringing it down to €1,375.
“That is a cruel cut,” he says, and asks the Minister to reverse it.
He does, however, welcome some of the measures to help SMEs to get out of the financial quagmire, as announced today.

If you are a smoker or drink alcohol, you’ll need to know about these tax increases. They come into effect at midnight. (Quick, make mine a double before 11.59)

Michael McGrath is finishing up his response now, saying he is disappointed that the Government didn’t mention anything about promissory notes/ the bailout.

Fianna Fáil’s Seán Fleming is taking up the other half of Michael McGrath’s time. He has a rather snazzy tie on, which is completely beside the point, but it’s making us feel a bit better. He just said that the Government is interested in “style over substance”.

Seán Fleming does make an interesting point though that the Government are cutting child benefit by €10 and cutting funding to the Department of Children by €16m, just a few weeks after their ‘Yes for Children’ campaign in the Children’s Rights Referendum.

Seán Fleming is really looking at what Budget 2013 means for families with children – one-parent families, the cuts to back-to-school allowances.

He also looks at the other end of the age spectrum – the costs to older people, the household benefit package in particular – the free TV licence, the electricity and telephone allowances. He says that some of the utility companies are “overcharging” the State on these and that these companies are who should be driven harder for a good deal instead of putting it on older people and people with disabilities.

Fleming says the Budget was not “gender-proofed”, says it is “anti-women” and “anti-mother” and that if more than four men had seen the Budget before it was “rushed to the printers”, it might not be. So now.

BREAKING: Seán Fleming wants to put on the record that the Government have asked for a total supplementary expenditure to be released of €1.118 BILLION for 2012.

He says that it shows that they got their figures wrong last year and that they were not adequate for the job.

We know a certain €685m of it went to Joan Burton’s Department of Social Protection – we will bring you details of where the rest of the overspend went shortly.

No cut to ministers’ or TDs’ pay but the era of unvouched expenses for politicians is over.

Read this breakdown of which members of the Oireachtas it will most affect here….

Pearse Doherty, Finance spokesperson for Sinn Féin, has been painting a pretty emotional picture of older people, fathers standing in dole queues and mothers not eating to allow their children to have dinner. He says the Government has let all of these people down.

Pearse Doherty saying that the Government are not creating the employment they promised to – and to be fair, Minister Howlin did say that unemployment wasn’t reducing as much as they would have hoped – but that by cutting by three months the term during which jobseekers may claim full payments, they are penalising those who have been put out of jobs.

He also says that the child benefit is actually the only benefit many low-income working families are getting.

He says Colm McCarthy (Bord Snip Nua) was wrong when he said once that the Government had “run out of cash, not compassion”.

Limited resources shouldn’t be an excuse to “make the wrong choices”, says Doherty.

Both Sinn Féin and Fianna Fáil’s spokespersons have pointed to their pre-Budget submissions as having provided suggestions to save/generate €3.5bn that is needed for 2013.

This was Sinn Féin’s.

This was Fianna Fáil’s.

We have been sent the entirety of Pearse Doherty’s speech by Sinn Féin – if you want to reflect on it, we have posted it in full here.

“The rest of us have to suck it up, but by God, the bankers who caused this mess will be protected”.

Doherty reiterating the points that certain high-wage individuals (including politicians) haven’t had their salaries touched. You might remember this story.

Now up to take up the second half of Sinn Féin’s time is the party’s deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald.

“Despite all the media hype about supposed haggling” at the Cabinet table, it turns out that Fine Gael had it all their own way, she says. Labour “surrendered” she says. “The party of James Connolly is now led by the nose”. Ouch. Especially when it’s coming from a party that fights for ground among, as a general rule, the same electorate as Labour.

By the way, if you are pondering changes to PRSI – this article should explain it further. Gavan Reilly has been crunching the numbers and it means that the changes will hit employees by €264.14 per year.

And what’s happening to pensions? Well, Jen Wade has all you need to know on that in this article.

However, Mary Lou McDonald has just said in her speech to the Dáil that she feels Minister Howlin has only “tinkered” around the edges with the pensions of high earners in the civil service.

It’s “the working class” which is “really hurting” and that the middle class is “hurting too”.

The Health Service and James Reilly get a mention. The raising of the threshold in the Drugs Payment Scheme, the hike in prescription costs for people on medical cards, and what McDonald calls a lack of detail on how they are going to make savings on generic drugs purchases and in other areas, are not good enough.

The Technical Group all appear to be getting a bit of talking time. The Ceann Comhairle is going to have to keep them under a certain number of minutes each. We’re not setting our stopwatch.

Richard Boyd Barrett is standing now and is taking about a “cruel” Budget. Families, children, people with disabilities, older people – all targeted, he says.
“The poor and the struggling” being asked to struggle more than they already are.

Stephen Donnelly up next: “Noonan said tax compliance is a core principle of our democracy” (by lecturing the people about the property tax) “when the entire benefit of the property tax is going to be handed to Anglo Irish Bank.”
He also rubbishes the fall in unemployment, saying it is due to emigration.
“An austerity-only approach… is doomed to failure and sadly this latest Budget is the latest tack in this approach. The property tax is regressive. The change to PRSI is regressive. The cut to child benefit is regressive…. I don’t know how this government can use the word ‘fairness’ with a straight face.”
Thomas Pringle was next, saying how unfair it is that a low earner pays the same PRSI increase as he and his fellow TDs on €90k plus.
He says that the social insurance fund should be in deficit as we are in a recession.
Clare Daly is saying that it’s the season for pantomimes but that is what this is: “Robin Hood in reverse”.
You have chosen, she says, to target the vulnerable, and harks back to the tax 30 years ago proposed on children’s shoes. “It’s a total disgrace to my mind,” she says, about targeting elderly people, maternity, children benefits but the “big one” she says is the “home tax” on people for whom so many their home is already a liability.

She refers to the gardai outside Leinster House, saying that the public won’t tolerate it and will take to the streets.

Mick Wallace kept a piece from the Guardian from 2010 he tells us, which had the headline on FF’s last Budget: ”Poor pay price for saving Ireland’s economy”
He quotes Michael Noonan in it, who said it was a failed budget by a “puppet goverment”. Joan Burton he also quotes. They were both right, he says, but now they have just taken the same unfair measures.
“Oh, how power changes everything,” he says.
What is The Guardian saying today? Let’s see:

Gap between the top tier and lowest and the emergence of a “winner takes all” culture is what’s happening in Ireland, says Wallace, and we are forcing children back into poverty.

Finian McGrath has been speaking about the marginalised in society and how they are put to the pin of their collars.

He says he’s a supporter of the Croke Park Agreement but speaks about an example of St Michael’s House which caters for people with disabilities and says that the organisation has done as much as possible to stick to the terms of the CPA, has rationalised, cut staff, streamlined and what has happened? Their resources have been massively cut and they will have intermittent closures to their services, reduced services and more.

He says that  the money being paid to special advisors to ministers would pay for 300,000 home help hours. This is not a Budget of fairness, and he will be voting against it.

Seamus Healy says the most “shameful cut” in this Budget is against children.
Labour’s past political statements again coming back to haunt them as Healy reads from a Labour general election pamphlet as saying:
“Labour is against Fine Gael’s latest proposal to cut child benefits… Families need Labour in government”
On another note, how do the changes to motor tax affect you if you own a vehicle? Gavan Reilly has been finding out. VRT is also going up as we mentioned at the weekend.
And, yes, there will be two licence reg plate types next year to get over the whole ’13′ issue. Remember how we broke that idea from Michael Healy Rae way back in February? He was right, you know.
Catherine Murphy is asking 1. what people are getting from PRSI and 2. why low-income earners are being dragged into it.
The cumulative effect is to “literally take food off people’s tables”.

Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan says it is the beginning and the end of the Budget discussions because the Government will plough ahead with their agenda and not listen.

He’s not happy with the employment figures either – he says the rate of unemployment is down because “ye drove them out of the country”.

Upward-rent reviews not tackled, he says.

Meanwhile, Finance Minister has appeared on RTÉ’s Six-one and said:
This wasn’t an easy budget and it does hit people very hard. First of all, we’re not raising income tax – people won’t have another cut on their incomes or salaries through IT or USC.
At long last, we’re getting out this. We can see the finishing post.

Michael Noonan on Revenue collecting property tax:

The Revenue have been laying their plans and they have a very strong legal position. They assure me that they can collect it. Obviously, they will offer people a whole range of options for people to pay.

Luke Ming Flanagan is calling for the removal of James Reilly – and they’ve turned off his microphone because he’s gone over time, it seems…
Mattie McGrath: “It’s a horrible Budget”.
He talks about the blow to self-employed people, the cut to respite care allowance, cuts to education –  and “we want people to go back to education” he says.

Luke Ming Flanagan is calling for the removal of James Reilly – and they’ve turned off his microphone because he’s gone over time, it seems…
Mattie McGrath: “It’s a horrible Budget”.He talks about the blow to self-employed people, the cut to respite care allowance, cuts to education –  and “we want people to go back to education” he says.

McGrath mentions his sit-in at Friends First yesterday and says bailing out the banks is crippling the country.

The statements to the Dáil have finished now so it’s out of session for half an hour.

That cut to respite care of €300 per annual payment is going to hit carers – and those with a disability – hard. Michelle Hennessy has more on that cut here.

The effect of Budget 2013 on children has been the most-repeated accusation levelled at the Government in the Dáil this evening.

Sineád O’Carroll has broken down the elements that DO affect children in a direct manner – and the strong criticism of the measures from children’s charities and advocates here.

At the press conference with Michael Noonan and Brendan Howlin, we note that the two are presenting a very united front. Howlin says the overarching objective is “to fix a broken economy”.

Looking forward to the votes that will take place on this Budget, Michael Noonan is being asked how he is going to sell this Budget to disaffected backbenchers (Especially the wine levy increase, yah?)

He’s saying that impositions were put on different areas so that not everyone is affected by everything. “This is a tough Budget”, he concedes, but says it is necessary to get the country working and growing.

Brendan Howlin takes over on the social welfare side to say that the “level of the crisis we are facing” means that we have to tackle it.
He says that the ‘ask’ for reductions was €540m this year. He says that they have “eased” the burden on Health and Social Protection – but that money had to be found. So the ‘ask’ was actually €390m.

Childcare facilities, meals for children in evening who don’t necessarily get a hot meal at home, extension of child education – these are the things they are targeting with money in what they think is the best direction, and that’s where the money from the child benefit cut was for, says Howlin.

Will the child benefit cut be means-tested? It’s difficult to deal with it on a tax basis, says Howlin, because it is mostly paid to women/mothers (presumably, he’s saying that not all of them are working outside the home). On the maternity benefit issue, Howlin says that it shouldn’t be that women who are on maternity benefit shouldn’t be getting paid more than people who are working.

The €685m supplementary that the Dept of Social Protection needed? (as was revealed this morning) It was coming from a PRSI miscalculation apparently – it went through Revenue and was categorised as PRSI but wasn’t. So instead of it becoming a social revenue, it went to Dept of Finance.

It was a “technical adjustment” says Brendan Howlin, and he says he has been saying that was the case since February “for those who were listening”.

Ooo, get him.

Seamus Healy, WUAG TD from South Tipperary, recalled that Labour had said in their general election campaign that they would never cut child benefit.

And, do you know what? He was right. Gavan Reilly has this piece - and found this video on the Labour Party’s own Youtube channel:

Meanwhile, Michael Noonan is defending keeping the corporate tax rate as helping “export-led growth” so that “the Googles and the Facebooks” don’t go elsewhere, eg the UK: (George Osborne said yesterday the UK was bringing down their corporate tax rate to 20 per cent and their top rate of tax – which would affect execs – is lower than ours).

Meanwhile, Minister Noonan is talking about a detailed draft budget might be required by the EC for next year. It is required by October – we knew that – but Noonan is suggesting that we might be “as well off to do the whole thing in October”.

This is shaping up a lot like the Budget will be in October next year.

No more December Budget? We could live with that.

By the way, the first vote on one element of the Budget has just passed – that means the hikes in tobacco and alcohol WILL go through at midnight tonight. Sorry about that.

Meanwhile, Colm Keaveney, the sort of rebel Labour Party chairman we pointed out this lunchtime (see the 13.02 post on this blog) has posted this interesting tweet.

The stuff that is being voted on tonight is relatively uncontroversial but it’s the motions on, for example the social welfare changes, in coming days and week that could face opposition. We think that’s what he means – and that he might not necessarily vote for them just because his party is in Government.

Meanwhile, Enda Kenny is sending the Dáil to sleep with his reading of the detailed motions to push through the motor tax and VRT changes in the next vote.

It’s not his fault – this bit is always really boring. And to be fair, he is doing his best to engage the audience by looking up and eyeballing them from time to time, as in:

If you are wondering exactly what social welfare benefits will be affected by this Budget, Jen Wade has done you a solid and put together this easy-to-read guide.

Those motions on the VRT and motor tax have just gone through in the Dáil by the way.

Next up – as introduced by Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore – is motion 6, which cuts out the tax relief on Top Slicing – previously, it meant that you could get a large refund of the tax you paid on your redun

Interestingly, Mattie McGrath mentioned earlier in his statement to the Dáil that he didn’t believe the protestors on the streets represented those really affected by the Budget.
What about this man, captured this evening by Julien Behal of PA Wire, in Sineád O’Carroll’s slideshow here?
Motion 6, on Top Slicing relief, has gone through.

We’ve had a bit of tech difficulty there in the last hour or so but the Dáil is somewhat empty – there are unlikely to be any major resolutions put forward these evening (see the previous note from Colm Keaveney in this liveblog…)

Róisín Shortall, erstwhile Minister for State at the Department of Finance, did give Eamon Gilmore a tongue-lashing in her statement to the Dáil.

Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore is currently responding to Stephen Donnelly’s call for a Budget document to be brought forward three months in advance for debate. Gilmore says he doesn’t know what the Government did before Donnelly joined them in the Dáil. He is not impressed, but manages not to say the words, ‘young pup’.

We will be back tomorrow with lots more Budget 2013 analysis and reaction… and more of the nitty gritty details.

Good night and TRY to get some sleep.

We’ve had a bit of tech difficulty there in the last hour or so but the Dáil is somewhat empty – there are unlikely to be any major resolutions put forward these evening (see the previous note from Colm Keaveney in this liveblog…)

Róisín Shortall, erstwhile Minister for State at the Department of Finance, did give Eamon Gilmore a tongue-lashing in her statement to the Dáil.

Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore is currently responding to Stephen Donnelly’s call for a Budget document to be brought forward three months in advance for debate. Gilmore says he doesn’t know what the Government did before Donnelly joined them in the Dáil. He is not impressed, but manages not to say the words, ‘young pup’.

We will be back tomorrow with lots more Budget 2013 analysis and reaction… and more of the nitty gritty details.

Good night and TRY to get some sleep.

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