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Readers’ Panel: Unemployed

Jane, who’s unemployed and owns a house that’s in negative equity, is happy that the NPPR is to be axed but thinks that the blanket cut to the children’s allowance was a mistake.

File photo
File photo
Image: OtnaYdur via Shutterstock

JANE* IS UNEMPLOYED and is living with her husband in Dublin. A qualified engineer, she has been unemployed for over a year. Her main worry was government making any change to the couple’s tax credits. She was also concerned about what government was going to do to try to help people like herself to find a job in 2013.

Although I haven’t digested all the main points, it appears that PRSI contributions will increase. The result of this is that my husband will take home less pay during 2013.

We will pay a property tax of about €180-190, which isn’t too bad considering it’s replacing the household charge. I have paid the charge and am not in arrears but do not agree that it is going to bondholders.

I worry that councils will be allowed to adjust this amount in future. I don’t hold out much hope for it being used efficiently. Personally, I am happy that the NPPR will be scrapped after 2014. PRSI on additional income such as rental income will also affect us.

In general I am unhappy that low and middle-income earners will again bear the brunt of a drop in child benefit and the increase in college fees etc.

Child benefit should be taxed and should not be cut for those on low or no income. I am happy that ministers will have reduced allowances and that some savings will be made in non front-line public services.

However, what are the underlying cuts? I hear that carer’s grants have been cut and already home help hours have been slashed – this is disgusting. Not enough has been done to cut expenditure on top civil servant wages and actually adhere to pay caps.

In terms of jobs, I don’t hold out much hope but will be interested in initiatives proposed by Joan Burton. I am re-skilling via a Springboard PostGrad course but this is a career move, so more initiatives to employ skilled unemployed people would be welcome.

Obviously we have considered moving abroad but have given ourselves a few more months before making a decision – will the hidden changes in the budget push us over the edge?

*person wished to remain anonymous

Read the verdict from other readers on TheJournal.ie’s panel>

Readers’ Panel Part One: What are you expecting from Budget 2013? >

Readers’ Panel Part Two: What are you expecting from Budget 2013? >

Read more: TheJournal.ie’s coverage of all the latest news from Budget 2013 >

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Paul Hyland

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