JOHN LYONS TD KEEPING IN TOUCH BUDGET 2014 Dublin North West
FREE GP CARE FOR CHILDREN UNDER 6 In this year’s Budget Labour secured funding of €37 million for the first rollout of free GP care to children aged 5 or under to help hard-pressed families. As part of the Health Reform Programme, the Government committed to introducing, on a phased basis, a universal GP service without fees. 250,000 children will benefit from this year’s Budget measure. Over time it will be rolled out to the entire population. It makes sense for people to have easy access to their GP so that problems are caught earlier. If serious illness can be stopped or managed before ending up in hospital, it’s better for the patient and cheaper for the Government. This reform will ensure that families don’t have to worry about finding a €50 fee for the doctor when one of their children gets sick. No parent should have to prioritise bills when a child needs medical care. This is one of the first steps to a universal health insurance system that is focused on need, not income.
Winter 2013 Dear Constituent, The economic collapse that began in 2008 cost us our economic independence and impacted greatly on people’s lives through unemployment, falling living standards and a return to emigration for many families. This is the Budget that will take us out of the bailout. I am acutely aware that this is the sixth tough Budget and that everyone in the country has been asked to make a contribution to our recovery and make sacrifices. As part of Budget 2014, Labour set out to: ■ Limit the adjustment being made (from the €3.1bn being sought by some to €2.5bn) ■ Help hard-pressed families with the cost of sending their children to school or taking their sick baby to the doctor ■ Get more people into work and maintaining a threshold of decency As we enter the final few months of the bailout, we are beginning to see a small turnaround in our country. The Live Register figures have just fallen below 400,000 for the first time, when it was headed for 500,000 just two years ago. This is still far too high, but it is positive that more than 3,000 jobs a month are now being created. This Budget does not put our recovery at risk. It’s a step towards regaining our economic independence and shaping the kind of Ireland we want to live in when the Troika go home. If you have any specific queries about any measures in the Budget, please feel free to get in touch.
CLASS SIZES PROTECTED IN BUDGET 2014 I was contacted by many parents and teachers in the constituency prior to the Budget who were concerned about the impact of any further increase to class sizes. Education has always been a priority for the Labour Party and this budget shows our commitment to protecting frontline education services. ■ Class sizes protected at primary and secondary level ■ 1400 new teachers will be hired in classrooms in 2014 ■ DEIS scheme schools protected again ■ 100 breakfast clubs created over the next 3 years for most vulnerable children. ■ Further allocation of €430m to build additional new schools in 2014
John Lyons at Ballymun Whitehall Education Fair
JOHN LYONS TD
Tel: 01 618 3280
Dáil Éireann, Dublin 2
TAXES ON WEALTH IN BUDGET 2014 Following €500m of Wealth Tax measures in Budget 2013, this year’s budget includes several key measures to tax wealth in Ireland and ensure the burden of adjustments is shared by those who can afford it.
■ Pensions Measures ■ Stamp Duty ‘Pension Levy’ to fund the Jobs Initiative to increase to 0.75% for 2014 raising €135m ■ Standard Fund Threshold (SFT) – a subsidy for high earners on large pensions – reduced further
■ Levy on the Banks €150m levy on certain banks and financial institutions to seek return of funds to the State
■ ‘Top Slicing Relief’ Abolished ■ Tax reduction on lump sum payments when leaving employment no longer available from 1 January 2014 for ‘exgratia’ lump sum payments.
■ DIRT Tax – Rate Increase for Savings Standard rate of DIRT for savings increased to 41% for payments made at least once a year.
■ Lump sum payments to claimants under Magdalene Laundry Fund will be tax exempt.
■ Life Assurance and Investment Funds ‘Exit Tax’ for leaving life assurance policies and investment funds increased to 41%.
€46M YOUTH EMPLOYMENT FUND Budget 2014 includes €46m for measures to get young people back into the workplace. If approved at EU level, this funding will be matched bringing the total fund to nearly €100m. Some of these measures include: ■ JobsPlus eligibility changed to 6 months out of work for under 26s ■ JobsPlus offers direct cash grants to employers to hire long-term unemployed people (€300 monthly for employers). ■ Additional intake of 1,500 young people to the JobBridge national internship scheme. ■ 1,000 places on Tús Community Work placement scheme are targeted at young people. John with Minister Joan Burton at Ballymun Youth Guarantee pilot scheme launch ■ Minimum of 2,000 training places for under-25s. ■ Provided under follow-up to the successful Momentum Programme operated in 2013 by the Department of Education & Skills I welcome the extension of the Youth Guarantee Scheme which gives young people under 25 access to training, education or work experience within four months of becoming unemployed. The national pilot scheme for the Youth Guarantee – with €300,000 in European funding – has just begun in Ballymun and I believe it is an important policy response to youth unemployment.
€200 MILLION SECURED FOR CHILDRENS HOSPITAL
GARDA RECRUITMENT TO RESUME IN 2014
With the sale of the license for the National Lottery to a consortium led by An Post, €200 million has been ring-fenced for the construction of the badly needed, new National Children’s Hospital on the grounds of St James.
It was announced in Budget 2014 that the first recruitment of Gardaí in five years will take place in 2014.
Despite the tough Children’s Hospital to be built on St James campus Budget situation, Labour is committed to making sure this critical health project goes ahead and is built as quickly as possible.
While it was announced recently that crime is already falling in key categories in North Dublin, Local Finglas Councillor John Redmond also stated ‘this announcement will allow Garda to continue this progress and to provide further help to our communities in tackling anti-social behaviour.’
This is great news for Dublin North West as it will mean retiring Gardaí are replaced and that national Garda numbers are maintained above 13,000 in the coming year. I know a lot of young people have also been waiting several years for recruitment to reopen so they can apply for positions in An Garda Síochána.
BOOK RENTAL SCHEME FOR PRIMARY SCHOOLS TO HELP TACKLE COSTS It was announced in the Budget that an extra €5 million will be provided for each of the next three years to invest in book rental schemes so that they are available in every primary school in Ireland. Each year, €15 million is provided to schools to invest in school books which should be used to fund rental schemes and reduce the costs to parents. This funding has been protected since Labour entered Government, and we are now expanding it.
John with Principal Marie O’Brien of St Joseph’s JNS, Poppintree
€30M FOR NEW SOCIAL HOUSING €30m will be provided in 2014 to build 500 new homes and refurbish long-term void units. This on top of €100m invested in providing homes for the elderly, people with disabilities and homeless people.
In 2012, a survey showed nearly a quarter of primary schools do not currently have book rental schemes, despite the fact that such schemes can reduce the costs to parents by up to 80%, bringing the average cost per child from about €100 per year, down to about €20 per year. The extra money will allow for a grant of €100 per child in each school which is not currently operating a book rental scheme (€150 per child in DEIS schools). To further help tackle back to school costs, Minister Quinn is also working on a policy that will require all schools to give parents control over the cost of uniforms.
OTHER KEY CHANGES IN BUDGET 2014 HEALTH
■ Free access to GP for all children under 6
■ Class Sizes protected in Primary & Post Primary Schools
■ 85% of over 70s retain full medical cards ■ Weekly net incomes above €500 (single) and €900 (couple) will receive GP visit cards. ■ 97% of persons over 70 will still have access to a Free GP card. ■ Prescription Charges increase for medical card holders ■ Capped at maximum of €25 per month per person or family ■ New charges expected to apply from 1st December 2013 ■ Drugs Payment Scheme maintained at €144 per month ■ Tax relief on health insurance premiums ■ Tax relief limited to €1,000 for adults and €500 for children (including students aged 18–23 years in full-time education). ■ Applies to policies renewed or entered into on or after 16 October 2013.
■ 2,800 new teachers recruited in 2013-2014 ■ Special Needs Assistants (SNAs) maintained at 10,575 ■ €20 weekly bonus for Fás, VTOS or Youthreach courses discontinued ■ Restoration of €25m allocation to third-level institutions delayed until 2015 ■ Double payment for Fás & Youthreach courses ended for new entrants ■ €40m investment in Prefab Replacement Scheme to date ■ 2,000 training places ringfenced for out of work under 25s
SOCIAL PROTECTION - €19.6BN SPEND FOR 2014 ■ Child benefit payment maintained ■ 6-month Fuel allowance payment maintained ■ Free Travel maintained in full ■ Core Weekly State Pension protected ■ Living Alone Allowance maintained in full ■ Bereavement Grant of €850 discontinued from 2014 ■ Exceptional Needs Payments for those unable to pay funeral costs still available. ■ Social welfare payments still continue for 6 weeks following a death ■ Widowed or Surviving Civil Partner Grant – onceoff payment of €6,000 if there is a dependent child ■ Telephone Allowance payment ended from 2014 ■ From January 2014 for new entrants: ■ Jobseekers Allowance 18-24 year olds for new claimants is €100 ■ Jobseekers Allowance 25 year olds will be €144 ■ €46m for Youth Unemployment Initiatives (see previous page). Part of a focused shift from income support to services
€500 MILLION TO SUPPORT BUSINESS & CREATE JOBS – 9% VAT RATE RETAINED The successful 9% VAT rate has been retained for tourism services and goods. This was due to expire at the end of the year after it was brought in by our Jobs Initiative in 2011. This extension will support the many small businesses in our constituency who work in the growing tourism industry.
John Lyons TD & Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore visiting local company Nightline Couriers
Jobs and growth are our top priority to get people back to work and allow us to put public services on a sustainable path. A package of 25 measures was unveiled on Budget Day along with increased investment in shovel ready projects. These included: ■ €200 Million extra Capital Spending – using proceeds from National Lottery License for new round of Sports Capital Grants, road maintenance and repair, 1916 Commemorative Projects and €30 million for energy efficiency & retrofit schemes. ■ Reduction of Air Travel Tax to 0% - to encourage new routes, deliver new visitors and create more jobs in tourism. This will come into effect on 1st April. It is now up to Ryanair to deliver on their promise of 1 million extra passengers. ■ Capital Gains Tax Relief for Entrepreneurs – to encourage people to re-invest the proceeds from the sale of business assets into new companies and employment. ■ Increasing the threshold for the Credit Review Office from €500,000 to €3 Million – to make sure SMEs get the finance they need from the banks. ■ Supporting Cash-flow in Retail – the VAT cash receipts threshold is to be increased from €1.25 million to €2 million. ■ Protecting Honest & Compliant Businesses – stronger VAT antifraud measures and increased Revenue powers on tobacco, fuel & alcohol smuggling.
HOME RENOVATION INCENTIVE Tax relief of 13.5% is available from 25th October 2013 for families who invest in their homes in 2014 and 2015 following a proposal by the Labour Party. The Home Renovation Initiative is designed to incentivise renovations and increase demand for small construction jobs. The relief will be given as a tax credit over two years on spending of €5,000 up to a max of €30,000 and must take place in your principal private residence. The scheme will only apply to registered builders with a tax clearance certificate, to help tackle the shadow economy. Covered work includes extensions, renovations, window fitting, plumbing, tiling and plastering.
START YOUR OWN BUSINESS SCHEME Labour is the party of work, and we want to encourage and help individuals who are long-term unemployed to start their own business. That is why Budget 2014 will provide for a two year exemption from John & Minister Joan Burton at launch of income tax up to a JobsPlus Scheme max of €40,000 per year for people who have been unemployed for at least 15 months prior to starting their own business. This will help people to get their enterprise ideas up and running, encourage entrepreneurship and innovation. Finance for start-ups is available from Micro-Finance Ireland and the Government is supporting over €2 billion in nonbank credit schemes. If you would like to discuss these please get in touch.
For further information on changes in Budget 2014 visit budget.gov.ie
Your Labour Team in Dublin North West JOHN LYONS TD Dáil Éireann, Dublin 2 Tel: 01 618 3280 Email: email@example.com Blog: johnlyonstd.blogspot.com Web: labour.ie/johnlyons facebook.com/ JohnLyonsDublinNorthWest
Cllr John Redmond Cllr Andrew Finglas Montague 087 948 5559 Santry/Whitehall 087 908 0409
Cllr Aine Clancy Drumcondra/ Glasnevin 087 7635406
Emer Costello MEP 01 874 6109 firstname.lastname@example.org