Seanad debates

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Finance Bill 2012 (Certified Money Bill): Committee and Remaining Stages


11:00 am

Photo of Michael NoonanMichael Noonan (Minister, Department of Finance; Limerick City, Fine Gael)

In every annual budget, the budget book includes tables demonstrating the effects of budget changes in respect of income tax, PRSI, the universal social charge on single, married - with or without children - PAYE and self-employed income earners over a wide distribution of income levels. The tables also demonstrate the effective changes to some payments from the Department of Social protection such as family income support and child benefit. Every budget book contains a section which outlines the effect of budget changes in illustrative cases. These examine the effect of budget changes on various categories of income earners, including single, married, lone parent and elderly, in a variety of different occupations and with varying income levels. When a budget brings changes to income tax and PRSI, the budget book contains a poverty impact assessment based on the guidelines set out by the Office for Social Inclusion using the ESRI SWITCH model. The assessment is normally contained in annexe B of the book.

In line with the commitment in the programme for Government, there was no increase in income tax or PRSI in budget 2012. Regarding changes made to payments made by the Department of Social Protection, the Department undertook an analysis of the distributive and poverty impact of social welfare budgetary measures on individuals and families in advance of budget 2012. This analysis will be published shortly.

The ESRI annually publishes an analysis of the budget. Most recently, it published a study on the distributional impact of tax, welfare and public pay policies from 2009 to 2012. Accordingly, given the amount of analyses already available in this area, I cannot accept this recommendation as it would duplicate work already undertaken and provided in the various reports and publications to which I referred.


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