Home » Tag Archives: Budget 2023

Tag Archives: Budget 2023

Independents blast government over concrete levy

‘ARROGANCE’ on the part of government was sharply criticised, by a Clare TD, during a debate on a new concrete levy, proposed as a method of funding the defective concrete blocks grant scheme.  A private members’ motion, tabled by Sinn Féin, called for the levy to be scrapped and the suppliers of the defective products to be pursued vigorously for redress. While a promise to modify the terms of the levy in the forthcoming Finance Bill was enough to secure the support of backbenchers, including Deputies Cathal Crowe and Joe Carey, for the government’s position, there was stinging criticism from Clare’s Independent TDs. Deputy Michael McNamara asserted that the law underpinning the new scheme – which is to include Clare and Limerick – was badly drafted. He recalled the concerns of the Clare Pyrite Action Group (CPAG) at the scant level of pre-legislative scrutiny, and his own calls for legal action to be taken against suppliers. “At the time the …

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Effort to axe ‘deeply flawed’ concrete levy

HEATED exchanges characterised the first stage of a private members Dáil motion last night (October 4), urging government to scrap the proposed 10% levy on concrete products. The charge was outlined in Budget 2023 as a means of raising funds to support the revised scheme for homeowners, including those in Clare, with defective concrete blocks.  The proposal has been widely criticised by sectors including construction and farming, as well as action groups for pyrite and mica homeowners. In Clare, Dr Martina Cleary, founder of the local action group slammed the levy, saying it was letting the real culprits in the pyrite scandal off the hook.  This week Sinn Féin tabled a motion aiming to have the levy scrapped. Tuesday night’s debate was chaired by Deputy Joe Carey, in his capacity as Acting Chairperson.  Ahead of the vote on Wednesday night, Sinn Féin Councillor Donna McGettigan urged all Clare TDs to back the motion.  The Shannon representative described the plans as …

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Finance expert: Targeted Budget has kept eye on the future

WHILE it was a giveaway budget, Paschal Donohoe did take a measured approach and kept an eye on the future, according to Tommy Corbett of Ennis company Carey Corbett Financial Solutions. “In the main it was a very targeted approach. They wanted to look after those on social welfare and the lower paid, but also targeted towards the squeezed middle, and those with children in university,” he said. Regarding those on social welfare, he said, “There’s a €12 increase in the rate of social welfare and the pension. There’s also an increase in the fuel allowance of €400 as far as I know, and they’ve also widened the net for those applying for the fuel allowance. There’s something like 80,000 more people will be able to apply for fuel allowance.” And what measures will benefit the so-called squeezed middle? “The increase in the tax band from when you go from paying 20% to 40%, that went up by €3,200. If …

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Budget may get people ‘over a hump’, but what about January?

WHILE families have been identified as the ‘winners’ in Budget 2023, the Coordinator of West Clare Family Resource Centre has said many measure are only designed to “get people over a hump”. Mary O’Donoghue said that while the raft of family-friendly initiatives in the Budget are welcome, longer-term strategic measures are needed to significantly improve people’s quality of life, particularly in the West of this county.  Among the measures announced in the Budget are a double Child Benefit payment to be paid in November; free school books from primary school children; and a 25% cut in the cost of childcare for those using the National Childcare Scheme.  Social welfare payments, and pensions, are to increase by €12 per week and a once-off double week “Cost of Living Support” payment will be made to all social welfare recipients in October. The normal Christmas Bonus will be paid in early December. An extra €500 for Working Family Payment and Carer Support Grant …

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Campaigner: Defective block culprits being let off hook with levy

A NEW levy on concrete products, designed to fund grants for homeowners with defective blocks, has been criticised by a leading Clare campaigner.  As part of Budget 2023, a levy of 10% on concrete blocks and other products is to come into effect from next April. Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien said the charge will help to support the new defective blocks grants scheme, which was extended earlier this year to include Clare and Limerick.  Dr Martina Cleary, Founder of the Clare Pyrite Action Group (CPAG), said the move ultimately ends up hitting consumers, including those who will need to buy materials to remediate their homes. “Of course, there has to be a penalty on those responsible for defective blocks, but this levy is not targeting the real culprits,” she said. “The culprits are highly profitable companies who should be facing significant fines. The levy is just putting the cost back on individuals and families, as well as those who need …

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Anger as Clare preschool facilities snubbed in €11BN Budget

Fears have been expressed about the viability of the early childcare education sector after Clare pre-school facilities were “snubbed” and “discriminated against” in the €11 Billion 2023 Budget. Concern about the lack of adequate funding for Clare pre-schools has been expressed by Deputy Michael McNamara in his Budget speech. “The so-called universal payment towards the cost of childcare is not universal but rather relates to everybody who comes through the national childcare scheme. “I accept that is a lot of people, but it is not everybody. There is no sort of tax credit system, such as that which exists in the UK, towards the cost of childcare, so it is not going to be universal, even if it was flagged as such by the line Minister, Deputy (Roderic) O’Gorman.” Donna McNamara who provides early education to 11 children in the Tiny Tots Montessori/Preschool Ennis said the government provided no extra funding in the Budget on Tuesday to Early Childhood Care …

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