Today is set to be a better-than-usual day for Ireland’s squeezed mums and dads, with a ‘mildly expansionary’ budget to be revealed at 3pm.
The family friendly budget is expected to include a €5 increase in child benefit, free pre-school places for all children aged between three and five years and two weeks paid paternity leave for fathers, due to come into effect by summer 2016.
The universally despised Universal Social Charge (USC) will be slashed, with the top rate of 7.5 per cent, applied to those who earn between €17,500-€70,000, cut to six per cent and the lower rates reduced to three per cent and one per cent. The level at which Irish workers begin paying the charge, €12,012, is also expected to be increased to €13,012.
The price of cigarettes is expected to rise by 50c, bringing in a whopping €60m in extra funds to be spent where necessary, while the welfare Christmas bonus for pensioners and the unemployed will be restored to €173.
The €1.5bn Budget will be announced in the Dáil this afternoon by Finance Minister Michael Noonan and Public Expenditure Minister Brendan Howlin so watch this space.
As we wait with baited breath, tell us: what changes would YOU make if you held the purse strings? Tweet @HerFamilydotie