HILDEGARDE NAUGHTON T.D.
NAUGHTON WELCOMES BUDGET COMMITMENT TO IMPROVING PEOPLES LIVES
Speaking after the details of Budget 2017 were announced in the Dail, Deputy Hildegarde Naughton, T.D. for Galway West – South Mayo, commented;
“This is the first of three budgets aimed at protecting the economy and making people’s lives better.
Thanks to prudent economic management over the last five years we are now in position to invest in key public services. This will make a real difference to people’s lives. These measures include substantial investment in health and education, meaning 4,500 more teachers, nurses and gardai.
The main features of Budget 2017 are:
- A .5% reduction in the lower three brackets of the Universal Social Charge.
- A tax break for first time home buyers.
- Universal childcare payments worth €35 million annually.
- A weekly increase of €5 in the State pension, carers benefit and allowance, disability benefit and allowance, the blind person’s pension, and jobseekers payment and allowance.
- An 85% increase in the social welfare Christmas bonus for social welfare recipients.
- A reduction in prescription charges for the over 70’s.
- Earned income tax credit for the self-employed to rise by €400 to €950.
- The home carers’ tax credit is to rise by €100 to €1,100.
- A reduction in DIRT tax by 2%.
- An additional €497 million for the Health Service.
- And additional €458 million for Education.
While every challenge cannot be overcome in one budget, as the economy and employment continue to grow under the sound management of this Government, we will have more resources to address the various challenges in our society. Not all of the good suggestions I have received in recent weeks are affordable over the next 12 months but with continued economic recovery they soon will be.
Public services are at the centre of this budget, accounting for over 2/3 of available resources. Cuts in the USC are fair as they are targeted at low and middle income earners.
The prudent approach adopted in this budget will keep Ireland on the right economic track. We are spending only what we can afford and making increases where they are most needed. The uncosted and ridiculous spending proposals of other political parties that have been publicised in recent days are merely the savage cutbacks of future years. We must never return to those ways.”