Budget 2016 – Reaction to the Key points

Michael noonanThe Minister for Finance Michael Noonan and Minister Brendan Howlin have been delivering Budget 2016 to the Dail this afternoon.

Details of the key announcements are available HERE.

Reaction to the Budget has been swift:

OPPOSITION

Fianna Fail's Finance Spokesperson Michael McGrath, says this budget is the coalition's cynical bid for re-election.

Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson Pearse Doherty says the changes announced in the Budget today will benefit the better off more than those on lower incomes.

He says the Government is returning to boom-bust politics and its growth policy is not credible or sustainable.

SFA WELCOMES BUDGET 2016

The Small Firms Association (SFA) has welcomed the announcement of Budget 2016 today. SFA Chairman, AJ Noonan, commented: "This Budget is a strong endorsement by Government of the importance of entrepreneurship and small business in Ireland. The reduction of Capital Gains Tax to 20% for small businesses will greatly assist investment capacity when they are selling on their business.  It will be a significant boost to serial entrepreneurs looking to start new ventures and create more jobs and will stem the flow of investment to the UK which has a 10% entrepreneurial tax rate. We await the detail to ensure that it is a simple, no nonsense system."

RESTAURATEURS CONTENT WITH BUDGET

The Restaurants Association of Ireland (RAI) are content about the Budget 2016 announcements. Restaurateurs welcome the retention of the 9% VAT rate.  A widening of the PRSI weekly pay band has also been established, which alleviates the unbalanced cost attributed to the employer as a result of an increase in the National Minimum Wage.  The RAI are also satisfied that there has been no increase in excise duty in Budget 2016.

BUDGET A LET DOWN FOR ONE PARENT FAMILIES

One Family, Ireland’s organisation for people parenting alone, sharing parenting and separating, today responds to Budget 2016 acknowledging that Government listened to us and the parents we support by providing a modest increase in a parent’s ability to stay in low paid employment by increasing the income disregard of those on JobSeekers Transition Allowance (JSTA). However a Child Benefit giveaway to everyone is unstrategic and does not address the children pushed into poverty by this Government. This approach does not fit with the Government’s self proclaimed family-friendly Budget for 2016.

COMMERCIAL ROAD TAX

Minister Noonan announced a reduction for commercial road tax, and said he would simplify the tax bands too.

Eoin Gavin of the Irish Road Haulage Association says the changes will have a huge positive effect on his members.

INCREASE IN TOBACCO PRICE

Shopkeepers say smugglers are 'laughing all the way to the bank' at the 50 cent hike on a packet of cigarettes.

Benny Gilsenan of Retailers Against Smuggling says it'll drive small stores out of business - with criminals reaping the benefits.

NO FIZZY DRINKS TAX

Responding to today’s Budget Statement by Minister for Finance Michael Noonan, Irish Heart Foundation Head of Advocacy, Chris Macey said:

“It’s hard to escape the conclusion that by failing to introduce a tax on sugar sweetened drinks the Government is prioritising the wealth of multinational companies over the nation’s health and particularly the health of children.

AA -NOTHING FOR THE MOTORIST IN BUDGET

The two most important cost items for ordinary motorists – fuel taxes and the cost of motor insurance – were left untouched by Minister Noonan in today’s budget, according to the AA.

The motoring organisation has argued for the gradual removal of additional austerity-era taxes that were applied to fuel since the emergency budget of 2008. Those extra taxes cost the typical motorist €520 per year*.

NEWSAGENTS SAY BUDGET DOESN'T PROTECT SMALL BUSINESSES

Budget 2016 has done little to address the concerns of small businesses, despite the National Federation of Retail Newsagents (NFRN) Ireland writing to the Department of Finance’s pre-budget submission to express continuing concerns about the implications of government policy for the independent retail sector.