South Tipperay Independnet TD Seamus Healy has described the 2013 budget as “a savage attack on low and middle income families and children”.
He said it targets the poorest people in society, the working poor and middle Ireland while allowing the wealthy to get off scot free.
“A typical low income family with two children will lose a minimum of €1100 per annum or €22 a week”, he said.
Deputy Healy continued - “Children are being particularly targeted with child benefit cuts of €10 euro per month for the first and second child and €18 euro per month for the third child.
“Labour in particular has reneged on families. The public will recall Labour party ads in the 2011 general election calling for “the protection of child benefit, saying it has been cut too much already” and that Labour was “ against Fine Gael’s latest proposal to cut child benefit”. “Families need Labour in Government”, we were told.
“Another blow to families is the introduction of a new Property Tax on the family home- this is unjust and unfair and is not based on ability to pay.
The removal of the PRSI allowance and the reduction in back to school clothing and footwear schemes are totally unacceptable.
The elderly and the ill are also being targeted with cuts to the electricity, gas and telephone household package and a 200% increase to €1.50 per item in prescription charges.
“Carers find themselves on the wrong end of a particularly nasty cut of €325 to the respite care grant. Alternatives and opportunities to tax wealth and high earners were ignored.
“This is the 6th austerity budget which has in total has taken €27.5 billion out of the economy and will lead to further job losses, emigration and the closure of small businesses.