Longford-Westmeath Deputy Peter Burke (FG ) has welcomed the budget, which he has called both fair and prudent.
Burke said that the days of big announcements á la Charlie McCreevey and decentralisation were long gone. Instead Fine Gael have brought in structures to ensure that any tax cuts and spending increases were fair, measured, and gave back to all in society.
“An extra five euro to all social welfare payments from the end of March may not seem like a lot, but it is preferable in my opinion than going back to the giveaway budgets of the late 90s and 00s only to have to impose savage cuts in the subsequent years. We can build on these increases gradually and avoid the boom and bust cycles of the past.”
“I also welcome the increase to the home carer’s tax credit by €100, as I believe that carers are the backbone of our healthcare system. Again, the amount is small but is a figure we can build on again next year and in future budgets. There has been an extra €685 million allocated to the health budget to decrease waiting lists and increase hospital capacity.”
Burke cited maintaining a stable economy and operating within EU rules as vital factors considered by the government in this years budget. The deputy considers the modest gains made by those on lower incomes an achievement and said that continued economic recovery would lead to more improvements in the lives of lower income earners.
“As the economy increases to improve at a steady rate, we can give back more to those who need it most,” he said. “This budget is a reflection of this.”