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Readers' Panel: Single and working full time

Budget 2012 has seen an increase of 2 percentage points in VAT and an increase in tax on fuel.

Don Roche is a 25-year-old worker in the private sector. Before the Budget, he was primarily concerned about increases in direct taxes – but also said that increasing indirect taxes such as VAT would hurt the economy by taking money out of people’s pockets.

“Overall it’s a ridiculous budget. They’re taking money away which could be spent on things, which creates jobs. Whereas most things the Government spends money on are completely pointless – like libraries, museums, agriculture, ministers’ pensions and so on. They would be the things that I would prefer to cut. I have no personal use for the President or any politicians – they don’t serve me – so I don’t see why I should pay their wages and pensions.

With the petrol tax, even though I don’t have a car, if people are having money taking out of their pockets for basically no reason, that’s a threat to the place where I work. Because people have less money to spend. But I’m in favour of the removal of the USC for people earning less than €10,000, because it means they have more money to spend, and that will create jobs.

Because of the VAT increase, I bought several things today. They’re things that I was planning to buy after Christmas, but I bought them today because they will be slightly cheaper.

The way that they cut things is really bizarre. The Government don’t cut things that we could get rid of completely – but they do cut things that make people angry. They also don’t cut things enough to make a big difference. So it’s not really a proper austerity package. It’s just deferring all these problems until next year’s Budget.”

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Michael Freeman

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