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Dublin: 2 °C Tuesday 28 January, 2020
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How was it for you? Our Readers’ Panel react, Part Two

We spoke to some readers about their hopes and fears ahead of today’s budget. Here’s how they were affected, in their own words.

IT’S ALL OVER. Budget 2015 has been announced – but how has it been received by the public?

We asked, you answered.

Here, we get the views of:

1. A married homeowner

2. A person hoping to buy a house

3. A farmer

4. A young couple renting

5. A pensioner

saraha

1. Sarah Anderson is a 28-year-old living in Dublin. She’s married with two children and is currently on maternity leave. She just bought a house in August of this year.

Overall, the Budget has benefited us. The reduction in USC will see our net pay marginally increase, but for what? To put towards paying the water tax?!

No mention of the local property tax which was pleasing. Diesel and motor tax staying the same is welcomed seeing as we face a horrible commute every day on roads that are insufficient.

We will benefit an entire extra €5 for each of our two children. A whole €10. Insulting, really. It won’t even buy us a packet of nappies or a box of formula for the month. They would have been better directing those funds towards the elderly.

Despite this being the best of the budgets for the past few years for us, we still aren’t gaining much. It appears to me that this is an attempt to please people by simply keeping things more or less the same for the first time in a long time and not hitting us with cuts. Disappointing.

annemarie

2. Anne Marie Connolly lives in Westmeath. She’s hoping to buy a house with her partner.

It’s great to see that the Child Benefit has increased. But the one I was waiting for the most was first time buyers, I’m pretty happy with the outcome that we will be refunded DIRT on our savings,

The one I watch every year is the price of petrol, diesel and motor tax so it’s great to hear they are not going to rise this year!

patrick

3. Patrick McCarthy is a young farmer from Cork. He’s on Macra’s agricultural affairs committee.

It was great to see measures encouraging better access to land for young farmers through long-term leases rather than conacre in today’s Budget. Also the new 15 year lease tax free threshold of 40,000 for lessors of any age will increase the level of land on long-term leases.

It was also great to see the targeting of 90% agricultural relief to young active farmers or farmers who lease out land on a long-term basis. In today’s Budget the tax measures supported farming and I think this is very important as there will be no milk quotas post 2015, which will lead to new opportunities, and as farmers we need the additional land to be available to young active farmers. The measures outlined today on encouraging long-term leases on land will help make farming more productive into the future.

carolineoneill

4. Caroline O’Neill is a 27-year-old living in Donabate, Co Dublin. She has a child and works part time. Her fiance works up to 30 hours a week. They are renting privately at the moment. 

Well, Budget 2015 has been and gone, and while I don’t feel as particularly beaten-down as I have in the past few years, I don’t feel optimistic either. It’s almost as if the Government is trying to appease us, but it’s all smoke and mirrors.

The best thing reported in the Budget was the drop in the USC charge for lower income earners, but I think we could all sleep a bit better at night had it been abolished completely – as we had been promised it was only a temporary charge.

This “relief” for water charges is going to be next to nothing for low- to middle-income families, and we have been given no guarantee that prices per litre for our water won’t rise to accommodate these rebates. They must think we were all born yesterday, and why wouldn’t they when we’ve been taking their bull**** lying down for way too long?

Also, one thing that really got to me was the €5 raise in Child Benefit, which totals €60 a year. What exactly does Joan Burton think that’s going to do for families who are already struggling to make ends meet? Don’t get me wrong, it’s a step in the right direction, but we need more than baby steps.

margaretbrady

5. Margaret Brady is a 68-year-old pensioner from Dublin.

The €100 back to households paying the water charge is a bonus. I don’t know if it will make a big difference but it’s better than nothing. I don’t know if it will have a huge effect for many people, but as I said it’s not too bad.

It’s really good news that they’re bringing in measures to develop more housing; they really did need to try to do something – young people are in need, of course, but older people have to be accommodated too. It should be divided up fairly so everyone can have a place to live.

I’m happy to hear about the extra €10 million for helping the homelessness problem. It’s great news, it’s badly needed – in Dublin especially.

Readers’ Panel Part One: What are you expecting from Budget 2015?

Readers’ Panel Part Two: What are you expecting from Budget 2015?

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