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Prime Numbers

Ties, galleries and Angela Merkel: The week in numbers

How many houses will have to pay the ‘mansion tax’? And who could find that Budget 2013 has been generous to them?

EVERY WEEK, offers a selection of statistics and numerical nuggets to help you digest the week that has just passed.

€264.12 – The amount that almost every full-time employee will see cut from their annual pay cheque under changes in Budget 2013. The Budget abolished a €127-per-week PRSI-free allowance from the weekly wage – meaning the 4 per cent levy will take €5.08 per week out of gross pay.

640 – The total number of homes which the government believes will be subject to the so-called ‘mansion tax’ – the higher level of property tax for homes worth over €1 million. The expert group report on property taxes, published on Thursday, reckons only 0.04 per cent of the 1.6 million eligible homes cost that much.

538,400 – The total number of homes, based on the same report, which are worth between €100,000 and €150,000, and which will pay €225 in property taxes each.

0.207 per cent – The highest possible rate of property tax to be introduced in 2014. Michael Noonan wants to give local councils the power to raise or cut property taxes by up to 15 per cent of the base rate (of 0.18 per cent of the house’s value), and those proposals would kick in from the next local elections in June 2014.

63 – The number of times that the National Gallery could be funded by Ireland’s contributions to the European Stability Mechanism. Someone on the average wage will contribute €58.56 to the European bailout fund, and a mere 93c to the gallery.

388 – The number of people who turned 100 in 2012, and are therefore entitled to the Centenarian’s Bounty of €2,540. The scheme costs an estimated €1.04 million per year – a mere 0.0015 per cent of total Government spending – but it’s one of the items being considered for the cull in the future.

€2,500 – The total amount bet by Paddy Power customers on the colour of Michael Noonan’s tie for the Budget speech. The bookie paid out on all bets, because it wasn’t quite clear exactly what colour Noonan’s purplish-brownish-silverish tie actually was.

95 – The number of Oireachtas members who might actually find themselves receiving MORE political allowances next year. The unvouched expenses model is being scrapped, while the vouched model is being cut by 10 per cent – but the vouched system was already so much more lucrative, that 51 TDs and 44 Senators could find themselves receiving more at the end of the day.

€1.118 billion – The amount by which various government departments exceeded the spending caps put in place for them for Budget 2012 (yes, 2012). Social Protection overspent by €685 million – because it had to pay the Dole to more people than expected – while Health needed €360 million and other money went to Garda pay and on Army and public service pensions.

7,150.1 kilometres – The distance between Dublin and Doha, where Phil Hogan was spending Budget day attending an international conference on climate change.

42 – The number of minutes of Michael Noonan’s Budget speech (including interruptions from opposition members complaining about the lack of copies of the ministerial speech). Bookies were offering odds of up to 6/4 for a speech under 48 minutes – meaning bets of €10 made a return of €25.

$33.26 billion – The amount wiped off the value of Apple on Wednesday. The company’s shares slid after a global report suggested that the company was going to lose its commanding share of the tablet PC market, with the iPad having only half of the market by 2016.

97.9 per cent – The share of the vote won by Angela Merkel in her CDU party’s annual leadership election. The win formally launches her campaign for election for a third term as German Chancellor in next September’s federal elections.

Want more? Check out our previous ‘In numbers’ pieces>

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