In the first part of what will be seen as one of the most austere budgets in the history of the state, Minister Howlin presented a series of changes which will hit families, workers, the unemployed and businesses across Co Donegal.
Speaking on RTE Sinn Fein Deputy Padraig MacLochlainn said it was “incredible” that billions of euro worth of cuts were being made “at a time when this Government is about to hand over another two billion euro to unsecured bondholders.”
He insisted: “And they are doing this when every single economic observer says we shouldn’t be.”
There are already rumours that several Labour Party backbenchers will vote against the austerity measures.
AT A GLANCE
SOCIAL PROTECTION CHANGES
No reduction in weekly rate of social welfare payments.
Child benefit for first and second child to remain unchanged.
Changes to the one-parent family payment will save €20.7m
Cut of six weeks in the cold weather allowance.
Jobseekers’ benefit to be based on five day week.
Changes to the redundancy and insolvency scheme will reduce the employer rebate from 60% to 15%.
There will be extra charges on private treatment in public hospitals
€543m will be saved in cuts to the health service.
Drug Payment Scheme monthly threshold up from €120 to €132
Secure 2% cuts in disability, mental health and children’s services, saving €50 million
Capitation grants to schools cut by 2% – €7m saving
Increase of €250 in the third level student contribution
Changes to fee and maintenance supports for new post-graduate students
Back-to-school grants for two and three year olds scrapped
Reduced allowances and secretarial supports for former Taoisigh
Reformed Ministerial transport arrangements
Number of Oireachtas Committees reduced
Savings of €105m in Dept of Agriculture, Marine, Food
Savings of €45m in Dept of Transport, Tourism, Sport
Savings of €34m in Environment, Community, Local Govt
€20m to be allocated for new Labour Market Activation Fund
Public service pay bill to fall by €400 million in 2012
6000 civil service jobs to be axed in 2012.Tags: