Budget 2012 – Day 1 as it happened
14:33 Special recognition of Brian Lenihan’s contribution to Irish politics.
14:34 Hard decisions must be taken. Public not to blame for our position.
14:36 Tax revenues down one-third in just three years.
14:39 Nominal current voted spending will be down from its peak by almost 7% in the last three years.
14:44 ”We need to keep people working and to get others back to work. Budget 2012 makes further inroads to dismantling barriers to employment”.
14:49 €20 million Labour Activation Fund to target long term unemployed. The Government plans to reduce the size of the public service by a further 6,000.
14:51 No cut in basic social welfare payments. Job seeker pay base reduced from six to five days. Universal child payment will be protected.
14:53 Over two years the rates of payments for child benefit for all children will be standardised. This will save €43m next year.
14:58 Increasing minimum contributions and reviewing rent limits will yield savings of €55m in rent supplement.
15:00 Increase the monthly threshold from €120 to €132 under the Drug Payment Scheme to save €12m.
15:01 Brendan Howlin says that three areas -health, education and social protection – will be cut by over €1 billion.
15:02 Health is allocated €13,644m in 2012. A reduction in numbers and containing pay costs will save €145m.
15:04 Student contribution up €250 per annum. 2% cut in capitation grants save €7 million. Changes to fees and maintenance will save €12.6 million.
15:05 Finian McGrath has a lot to say in the Dáil Chambers.
15:06 Other education measures: A 2% reduction in core funding for higher education will secure savings of €23.6m.
15:06 Agriculture, Marine and Food – savings of €105m. Transport, Tourism and Sport – savings of €45m. Environment, Community and Local Government – savings of €34m. The Government’s decisions will reduce public spending to €55.8bn in 2012 compared with €57.7bn in 2011.
15:07 Seconds out in Government Buildings!
15:08 Fianna Fáil accuses Fine Gael of cronyism! Never (!)
Summary of Main Points:
€475 cut in Social Protection
€543m cut in Health
€400m cut in public sector pay bill
Third level student contributions rise by €250
Cut of six weeks in the fuel allowance
Reduction in child benefit for third and subsequent children