Budget 2013: The main points

Budget 2013 has promised to be one of the harshest ever. The Daily Shift’s Roisin Peddle recaps on the main points…

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  • For students, the big news is that the Student Contribution Charge will rise to €3,000 by 2015. Currently standing at €2,250, it will go up by €250 each year.
  • Third level institutions’ funding will be cut by €25 million.
  • There will be a 3% rise in the threshold limit for grant eligibility.
  • Want to drown your sorrows? There will a €1 increase on a bottle of wine, and 10c on a measure of wine or spirits.
  • Smokers will have to pay 10c more on a pack of cigarettes. Rollie smokers will have to fork out an extra 50c.
  • Good and bad news for motorists. There is no increase on duty on petrol or diesel. However, VRT will increase from between €10 and €120 for most cars in the A and B categories. Motor tax will also rise.
  • A new car registration system will come in next year, with cars bought in the earlier part of the year bearing the reg “131” and those in the second half will be labelled “132”. According to Transport Minister, Leo Varadkar, this will create two peaks of demand for new cars next year.
  • Ahead of the Gathering 2013, the tourism VAT rate will stay at 9%.
  • This has proved to be a tough budget for parents. Maternity benefit is now a taxable income, but remains free of USC. The Back-to-School allowance has also been cut. Child benefit will be cut by €10 a month.
  • For the elderly, the medical card has been reduced to a GP-only card for those over 70s with an income over €600.
  • Medical-card holders will now pay prescription charges of €1.50. The Drug Payment Scheme threshold has been raised from €132 to €144.
  • There are no cuts in social welfare weekly rates. However, the Jobseeker’s Allowance will now be capped at nine months, rather than twelve. Household benefits, such as gas, electricity and telephone will be cut.
  • Carbon tax will be applied to coal and peat.
  • Hauliers will receive a rebate on fuel.
  • Unearned income, such as rental, investments, etc, will be subject to PRSI from 2014. The PRSI-free allowance has been abolished, meaning that those on low incomes will lose up to €264 a year.
  • The household charge has been abolished, to be replaced with a new local property tax. It will be charged at 0.18% of the house’s market value. Exceptions to the charge include: first-time buyers up til 2016 and those in unfinished estates for the next three years.  Houses worth more than €1m will be charged at 0.25% of market value. Pensioners have been told the payment can be “inherited” by their families after their deaths.
  • Minister Brendan Howlin has proposed to end the current system of “unvouched expenses” for politicians. Legislation has also been proposed to end severance pay for politicians, as well as reducing the Parliamentary Standard Allowance as well as Party Leaders Allowance.

How have you been affected by Budget 2013? Comment below! 

*Lead image via irishelection

Budget 2013 has promised to be one of the harshest ever. The Daily Shift’s Roisin Peddle recaps on the main points…

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