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Inishowen counts cost of Budget 2014 15.10.13

INISHOWEN is today counting the cost of Budget 2014.
There has been particular reaction to the targeting of younger and older welfare recipients in the country's seventh austerity budget. Today's budget contained a total of €2.5billion in cuts and taxes.
Independent Donegal South West T.D., Deputy Thomas Pringle described it as "an outright attack" on those who rely on supports the most for a decent standard of living.
“The young and the old have been targeted in a massive way today. Young people who are unemployed are being dealt a massive blow with a Jobseekers’ Allowance cut to a measly €100 a week.
"While between the scrapping of the telephone allowance, the raising of the prescription charge to €2.50 and the changes to the criteria for medical cards for those over 70, I think it’s fair to say that the elderly are the biggest losers in Budget 2014," he said.
“On top of that, expectant mothers have been hit again this time with a standardised payment on top of the taxation of the payment that was introduced last year.
Savers, including small savers, have been hit by the DIRT increase to 41% and the reduction in Supplementary Welfare Allowance and Rent Allowance by changing eligibility will hit another vulnerable group."
Meanwhile, Age Action warned that Budget 2014 would cause "increased hardship for the most vulnerable of older people".
“The housebound, those living alone, and the sickest and poorest of older people will be hardest hit by today’s measures,” said spokesman Eamon Timmins.
“We are greatly concerned that our warnings during the pre-Budget consultation process have not been listened to and that measures which specifically affect the most vulnerable of older people have been introduced.”

Some of today's main points:
- 30,000 pensioners to lose full medical card
- Lower €100 dole rate extended to under-25s.
- Free GP care for under fives
- DIRT tax on savings rises to 41%
- Pensioners' €9.50 phone allowance axed
- Prescription charges rise by €1 to €2.50
- 50c on wine, beer and cigarettes
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