Sunday, 22 April 2012

Stealth taxes cost €1,000 on top of €10,000 budget blows

STEALTH taxes are costing families in excess of €1,000 a year -- even before the home and water charges.
This also comes on top of income tax changes and the introduction of the Universal Social Charge (USC) in the past five austerity budgets that have taken €10,000 a year from the average family. The planned introduction of property taxes and water charges will likely cost the average household more than €1,000 a year.
Incomes have been hit so hard by income tax changes in the past four years that a litany of other charges and levies has gone largely unnoticed.
But an in-depth study by the Irish Independent shows that these charges are gutting household incomes.
They include the loss of dental benefits, the removal of mortgage interest relief for all except new buyers, changes to state drugs support schemes, carbon tax hikes, rail fare rises, and levies on general insurance and health insurance.
There have been pay cuts, budgetary changes to income tax, the introduction of the USC and cuts to child benefit. Changes to pay related social insurance (PRSI) and other tax changes have also hit hard.
On top of this, more than a dozen and a half of 'hidden' charges and levies are laying further waste to family incomes.
Financial expert Frank Conway of personal finance website said: "The austerity continues and situation gets more and more severe for householders."
But already families have been left reeling from a raft of levies and charges and stealth taxes.The price of petrol has surged from 95c a litre at the start of 2009 to €1.62, according to AAIreland.
This means the average family has seen its petrol bill jump from €142 a month to €300.
The Government has introduced, and repeatedly raised, carbon taxes on petrol and diesel and has hiked VAT in recent budgets. This, and the rise in international oil costs, has sent pump prices soaring.

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