Fine Gael Senator for Wexford, Michael D’Arcy, has today Tuesday said that Budget 2014 will protect middle and lower income families and hailed the announcement in today’s Budget that free GP care will be provided to all children aged five and under.
Children prioritised - free GP care for under 5's - class sizes protected
“It is clear to me that Budget 2014 will help hard pressed families in Wexford. Child benefit and class sizes have been protected and all families with children aged 5 and under will now have free GP cards. Despite significant economic pressure, we have protected child benefit and class sizes because we need to prioritise young people and their education.”
Low tourism VAT rate retained
“Of course, I'm delighted that Minister Noonan has decided to retain the lower VAT rate for tourism services, which has no doubt played a significant role in boosting visitor numbers here over the last 5 years.”
“The government has identified the tourism industry as a sector with considerable growth potential, and as a result, a number of measures have been introduced to encourage as many people as possible to holiday in Ireland.”
“The government approach has been vindicated by the latest figures from the CSO, which show that trips to Ireland increased by 4.2% in the second quarter, compared to the same period last year. Tourism and travel earnings from overseas visitors are up 5.2%.”
No income tax changes
Income tax rates remain unchanged and there will be no change in the Universal Social Charge (USC).
The task for this Budget was to lay down the conditions for a successful exit from the bail-out programme, with the creation of jobs being the primary focus of the measures introduced. To this end a range of 25 pro-business and pro-job measures have been introduced. We have listened to the people’s concerns and introduced a fair and equitable budget for all. Despite the immense financial pressure that the country is under, we are still on course to exit the bailout programme this December.”