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What do people in Dublin think of Budget 2016?

We got reaction on the streets.

Updated 10.30am

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BUDGET 2016 WILL impact on the lives of people across all sections of society.

While the most immediate change, the increase on the tax on cigarettes, came into effect at midnight, we’ll be waiting a little bit longer to feel the impact of other changes.

We took to the streets of Dublin to see what people think about the changes coming down the line.

Aoife Duff from Portmarnock, Co Dublin

“I thought we were going to get a lot more. We were hearing how USC was going to be cut, and it was, but it didn’t go as far it should. It won’t go as far as people expect it to.”

“When it’s all broken down, it won’t be any huge benefit.”

She also noted the free GP scheme for under 12s still has to be sanctioned by GPs, so isn’t “definitely going to happen”.

They’re giving a lot of lip service.

Aoife believes the social welfare increases are insignificant:

€3 for a pensioner? Why bother. It’s an insult, and €5 on child benefit wouldn’t even a buy a pack of nappies.

“It’s baby steps, but they still need to look at the system as a whole and see if there’s a way of giving real value back.”

As someone about to enter the housing market, she was hoping for some more measures to help first-time buyers, such as a reduction in stamp duty, and more measures to combat homelessness should have been announced.

Daniel O’Neill and Kate Duffy from Dublin 8

IMG_6883 Source: TheJournal.ie

As new parents, Daniel and Kate said the childcare measures will help them, and are very welcome, adding that paternal leave was a long time coming.

“I don’t think anyone’s going to argue [the Budget as a whole] isn’t quite good,” Daniel said, “But it’s a last ditch to try to give something back. I’m very sceptical of it all.”

I’ll be happy with the few extra bob in my pocket, but they’re not hitting the most wealthy with the taxes they should.

He also wasn’t too happy with the 50 cent on cigarettes:

“I don’t know how many people will actually quit. We’re already scrimping on the rollies.”

Donal Cullinan from Castleisland, Co Kerry, and Aaron Vickery from Rosscarbery, Co Cork

IMG_6875 Source: TheJournal.ie

Donal said that on the face of it, it’s a positive Budget – “They’re trying to buy votes” – but the government hasn’t tackled the areas they need to.

“They need to start changing practices in the current system. Instead of saying ‘Oh, we need 500 more medical staff, why don’t they just deal with the trolley crisis? It’s worse than it was when this government took office in Spring 2011.”

You don’t want a 90 year old lying on a trolley, it’s undignified, and it’s unjustifiable in today’s world.

Donal hoped that the low rates of corporation tax paid by some multinational companies would be tackled, but not to the extent that it would disincentivise them coming to Ireland in the first place

Aaron said that cutting the USC is a good idea, “but there has to be a look at the overall tax structures”. Measures such as raising the threshold at which people pay USC is on the right track, he said, but it needs to be across the board, so that poorer people aren’t impacted disproportionately by taxes.

He’s also not mad on the changes to the inheritance tax.

Michael Delaney from Leixlip, Co Kildare

IMG_6870 Source: TheJournal.ie

“Overall, a bit for everybody. The tax reductions are badly needed.

They’re trying to build up for the election, no question about it.

Michael said the childcare measures are welcome, but “there’s still a problem there”. He also believes a tax on sugary food would have been welcome.

Nama’s pledge to build 20,000 social housing units is a necessary step, but he noted there aren’t many other options – “You can’t just build for the sake of building.”

He commented that, overall, there was nothing that surprised him because of the heavy media coverage in recent days:

It’s a pity it’s leaked in advance, there’s nothing that surprised me. That shouldn’t happen.

Briege from Co Roscommon

“Personally, I don’t see an awful lot for me,” she explained, as she won’t benefit from any of the measures for parents and she’s not yet at pensionable age.

“I’m disappointed by the USC, I thought it would go down more.”

“I think that there’s a core group of people who are being squeezed, like anyone trying to get children through third-level education.”

We put three children through university without any help from the State. Now, sadly, one has emigrated, because she couldn’t get anything here.

Briege welcomed the addition of more guards, “especially in light of what happened this week”, but that’s not what’s needed:

It’s not just about putting guards in, it’s about changing the process of how they work.

She added that the government must tackle the health service, that has turned into “Mount Everest by three”.

Steven Killalea, manager of Stephen Street News in Dublin City Centre.

IMG_6898 Source: TheJournal.ie

“A 50 cent increase on a pack of 20 came as little surprise”, Steven said, “The minister wants to abolish smoking in the country by 2025 and allocate additional funds to the health service.”

As a retailer, he hopes that the money could also be used to tackle the illicit trade in smuggling and counterfeit manufacturing.

It would help retailers increase their turnover and help protect and grow jobs in their business.

He said the changes to debit card payments was welcome:

I would be greatly encouraged to facilitate a greater move towards a cashless society with the introduction of less onerous debit card charges. It’s very welcome today to hear that because banking charges have doubled for the vast majority of businesses in recent years.

Originally published 8pm, 13 October

Read: The good, the bad and USC: Here’s what commenters had to say about Budget 2016 >

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Nicky Ryan

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