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'Fantasy budget' survey shows Irish adults want child benefit means tested

Most Irish adults would introduce means testing for child benefit as well as a value-based property tax if they had control of this year’s Budget.

Image: 401(K) 2012 via Creative Commons/Flickr

IF IRISH ADULTS had control of this year’s Budget, most would introduce means testing for child benefit as well as a value based property tax, according to a newly released survey.

Coyne Research interviewed 1,000 Irish adults during the month of August, asking them a number of attitude questions aimed at examining what decisions they would make in this year’s Budget.

The survey found that more than half of respondents (52 per cent) questioned about the changes they would make to the 2013 Budget would choose to means test child benefit allowance. Meanwhile 15 per cent said they would cut unemployment benefit, and 14 per cent said they would slash rent allowance.

A further 9 per cent said they would cut lone parent allowance, while 9 per cent preferred to means test the old age pension or cut disability allowance.

The survey found that older age groups are more likely to choose to means test child benefit whilst younger age groups are more likely to cut unemployment benefit – as did more affluent socio-economic classes and those who do not have children.

Given a choice of options aimed at increasing the country’s income, 48 per cent of respondents said they would impose a property tax based on the value of a property.  Some 37 per cent said they would increase income tax by 1 per cent on each tax band for everyone, and 15 per cent favoured imposing a 1 per cent tax on all financial transactions.

Meanwhile, just under half of all Irish adults said they plan to decrease their spending in 2013, with 25 per cent of those planning to cut down on spending intending to decrease “a little” and 20 per cent “a lot”.

Only 1 in 8 Irish said they planned to increase expenditure, with those residing in Dublin showing a higher incidence of doing so.

Read: Government undecided on child benefit tax for wealthy>

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