Changes to the Universal Social Charge (USC), minimum wage, PRSI relief, income tax credits for the self-employed and start-up tax relied have been welcomed by Cork East Fine Gael TD, David Stanton. This combination of measures will ensure continued economic growth by supporting those in employment and assisting entrepreneurs in creating new jobs.

“The reduction in the three USC bands to new rates of 1%, 3% and 5.5% and the increase in the band entry points will mean that all those in employment will see an increase in their take-home pay, which Minister Noonan described as approximately the equivalent of a full week’s wages. Also as of January 2016 a further 42,000 low paid workers will no longer have to pay USC bringing the total number exempt from this charge to 700,000”, said Deputy Stanton.

“Other measures to assist the lowest paid workers are an increase of 50c in the minimum wage to €9.15 per hour and a PRSI relief of a maximum of €12 per week commencing at an income of €352.02 and tapering out full at €424. The minimum wage increase will benefit more than 120,000 people and the cost to employers will be offset by increasing the Employer PRSI threshold by €20 to €376.

“We have also introduced measures to assist the self-employed and SMEs to support the creation of new business and jobs. The introduction of a €550 tax credit for the self-employed is part of our plan to move towards tax equalisation for the self-employed. New business start-ups will also benefit from an extension of tax relief and a revised Capital Gains Tax relief for entrepreneurs will apply a reduced rate of 20% for the disposal of a business in whole or in part up to a limit of €1 million.

“Working parents will also benefit from this budget. A reduction in USC rates and increased entry level will assist all working families. For lower paid parents, the increase in the minimum wage and an increase in Family Income Supplement limits, and the €5 increase in Child Benefit, should improve take home pay. The introduction of two weeks paid paternity leave will improve the support new fathers can give to their children.

“Tax cuts benefit our people and our economy. They create and sustain employment by making work pay and assist in attracting migrants home. Ireland now has the highest economic and employment growth in Europe. The top priority of Budget 2016 is to sustain our economic recovery and bring benefits to every worker and family.