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Budget 2016; what are the consequences.

The budget 2016 was released back in October with effects for many households around the country. The budget showed increased expenditure in Education, Health, Employment, Social Protection and Housing – all of which bodes well for Ireland in 2016.

In Education the creation of an extra 2,260 teachers for primary and secondary level is a much welcomed relief due to the growing class sizes around Ireland. An increase in funding for the book rental scheme and more resources provided for developing school services will hopefully improve education standards around Ireland.

The aim to extend free GP care to all children under 12, as well as funds to provide therapeutic services is welcomed. Plus, the aim to fill 580 much needed nursing positions will improve health services across the board.

A bonus for many households will come from the increase in minimum wage to €9.15 per hour. The new PRSI Credit scheme will save money weekly for workers, plus an Earned Income Tax Credit for those without access to the PAYE credit will allow recovery of some taxes.

An increase in social welfare grants will relieve pressure for a number of struggling families. The fact children will be eligible for free childcare from age of 3 until they start school makes employment easier for parents and removes a considerable cost for families. There will be a €3 increase per week on pensions for those over 66 in an effort to increase their standard of living. These changes will help stabilise many families at risk of losing their homes.

Tackling the housing crisis has been high on the government’s agenda this year. There will be €70 million spent on homelessness in 2016. An additional €17 million will be spent on emergency accommodation, plus 3,100 houses acquired and refurbished.  A further 17,000 housing units’ will be delivered and Nama will provide 20,000 residential units before end of 2020. These efforts will make an impact in the homeless crisis we are currently facing as well as give the disused building and ghost estates a new lease of life.

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