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Here are the winners and losers of Budget 2016. Where do you fall?

Tax cuts and welfare increases were the main elements of Budget 2016.

BUDGET 2016 HAS been unveiled and the reaction is mixed.

The budget, which has been widely described as a ‘giveaway budget’, confirmed many of the predictions and kites that were flown in the coming days and weeks.

It brought tax cuts, free GP care to under 12′s and a boost to the minimum wage.

Finance Minister Michael Noonan and Minister for Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin unveiled a €3 boost the old age pension, while the Christmas bonus was restored by 75%.

So how did you fare in the final budget of this current Government before the general election?

Here’s the breakdown on the winners and losers.

WINNING: Workers

shutterstock_241319935 Source: Shutterstock/kurhan

Michael Noonan says all workers will get an additional week’s wages due to the tax changes made in today’s budget.

From January 1, around 42,500 workers will be completely removed from paying the Universal Social Charge, USC, while the entry threshold will increases from €12,012 to €13,000.

USC Rates will be cut from 1.5% to 1%, from 3.5% to 3% and from 7% to 5.5%.

Minister Brendan Howlin also confirmed that the minimum wage will be increased to €9.15 an hour from January 1.

In terms of job creation, 2,260 new teachers will come on stream in 2016, including 600 new resource teachers while an extra 600 gardaí are to be recruited next year.

LOSING: Jobseekers under 25

shutterstock_116602405 Source: Shutterstock/Halfpoint

There will also be no increase in the jobseeker’s allowance for under-25s, which was cut to €100 in Budget 2014.

WINNING: Pensioners 

shutterstock_58596301 Source: Shutterstock/@cam

All pension payments are to go up €3 a week from January 1, this is the first increase since 2009.

LOSING: Start ups

The Budget has been criticised for not supporting start ups. It has been described as ‘incredibly disappointing’ and as encouraging startups to leave Ireland.

WINNING: Social welfare recipients 

90203336 Source: Leon Farrell via RollingNews.ie

The Christmas bonus, which was partially restored last year, has been increased by 50% for people on weekly long-term social welfare payments.

Today’s announcement means a jobseeker receiving €188 a week will get an extra €141 at Christmas.

LOSING: Smokers 

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The price of cigarettes is to rise by 50c, bringing the cost of a 20-pack to €10.50.

Retailers Against Smuggling say this move means that smugglers are ‘laughing all the way to the bank’.

WINNING: Parents 

shutterstock_209610388 Source: Shutterstock/Jeanette Dietl

Child Benefit will go up by €5 a month to €140 next year and the Respite Care Grant has also been restored.

unnamed (12) Source: Derek Farrell via RollingNews.ie

It was also announced that fathers will get a paid paternity leave of two weeks from September of next year.

In childcare, it was revealed that all children will avail of free preschool/childcare from age 3 to 5 and a half or when they start primary school.

While 8,000 childcare places were announced to support parents in low paid employment.

LOSING: People who wanted a tax of fizzy drinks 

giphy Source: Reaction Gifs

The sugar tax didn’t happen, despite the fact that the Health Minister Leo Varadkar had written to the Minister Noonan asking for a 20% tax on sugar-sweetened drinks in an effort to tackle obesity.

Irish Heart Foundation said “by failing to introduce a tax on sugar sweetened drinks the Government is prioritising the wealth of multinational companies over the nation’s health and particularly the health of children”.

Read: BUDGET 2016 LIVE: The announcements, as they happen>

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