Tuesdays budget will contain cuts to both USC and income tax, measures which will of course play to Fine Gaels key support base, however the government’s plan of a balanced budget will require either more taxes elsewhere or significant spending cuts to allow for these promised tax cuts.
This is little comfort for the thousands of homeless people and those on hospital waiting lists as the government’s budget will contain few if any measures to tackle either the health or housing crisis. Meaning the thousands of people on hospital waiting lists or on local authority housing lists in rural Ireland will receive little if any benefit from this budget.
Besides the housing and health crisis perhaps the biggest political challenge to be dealt with in the budget is Brexit, the government have claimed to want to build a rainy day fund to deal with the post Brexit challenges that Ireland will face. However how the government intends to do this while prioritising tax cuts remains to be seen.
For rural Ireland specifically the budget offers little in the way of good news, while the government continues to insist that the Irish economy is recovering, many rural areas are still suffering from the effects of austerity budgets, and this years budget seems to offer little change to this. As Fine Gael’s budget will almost definitely not include the various measures social Justice Ireland called for in their pre budget submission, such as a dedicated budget line for rural enterprises, and increased funding for the rural transport scheme.
the 200 euro per cow payment proposed by the IFA has been ruled out by Minister Creed who called the proposal ‘undeliverable’ but has signalled that current supports will be maintained.
For Dairy farmers who have long been at the higher end of average farm incomes this years budget will largely be business as usual with tax reforms which will give with one hand and take back with the other. All farmers however will be affected by the planned carbon tax on diesel
For young people trying to save a deposit for a house while living in rural areas the budget will have a negative impact as landlords are set to receive significant tax breaks, while the government continues to fail to increase the supply of housing or tackle rising property prices and has not confirmed whether or not the budget will give local authorities the power to build housing. With no measure to address the lack of rural transport or to deliver employment boosts to rural areas. However the proposed five euro raises to social welfare payments will do little to keep up with the cost of living.
- Dairy farmers will not see any specific measures but may benefit slightly from tax changes and other measures
- Beef farmers will not get the supports that the IFA is looking for, but some support is likely
- No major plans to boost the rural economy but measures to change tax for the self employed will help self employed workers
- Landlords will benefit at the expense of tenants who will receive no relief in the budget
- The majority of workers will get very little from the budget beyond a small income tax cut
- A conservative budget very much following the economic ideology of Fine Geal and playing to their key support base.