Galway families will soon begin to feel the pain of a range of cutbacks and new taxes in Budget 2013, Fianna Fáil Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív has warned.
Deputy Ó Cuív said that it is lower and middle income families and particularly those with young children who will bear the brunt of the cuts that begin to take effect from this month.
“The reality of a budget that was riddled with broken promises and deeply unfair cuts will hit home in households across Galway in the coming weeks,” said the Galway West Deputy.
“I have spoken to so many people here over the Christmas period who already feel they have been squeezed from every angle and they are genuinely worried about how they will cope with more cuts in their household budgets this year.”
Deputy Ó Cuív said that the “bottom line” is that the package of measures in Budget 2013 amounted to an attack on lower and middle income families who are already struggling to keep their heads above water.
“While the rich are protected, it is young families here who will pay the most. They will soon see their child benefit cut, the clothing and footwear allowance cut and maternity benefit taxed, as well as paying extra PRSI. And as if this wasn’t enough, they will be expected to pay hundreds of euro a year in property taxes on a home they cannot afford as it is,” he said.
He went on to say that more than a quarter of all mortgage holders are now in difficulty and accused the Government of “not lifting a finger to help them”.
Deputy Ó Cuív added that there was “not a single measure” included to help people who are struggling with their mortgage and instead, the Government was “slapping a tax on the family home at the worst possible time”.
“I have been contacted by many householders over the past weeks and months who cannot pay their basic bills as it is and they just can’t understand how the Government expects them to pay taxes on their family home on top of everything else,” he said.
“It is not any one of these measures in isolation – it is the combination of new cuts and taxes being implemented this year that will push many families into severe difficulty. People here understand that tough decisions had to be made in this budget. What they cannot understand is why ordinary families, lower income workers and carers were targeted for the brunt of the pain while Fine Gael looks after big earners.”