Budget changes to come into force at midnight

Families across the country are bracing themselves for a raft of new taxes and charges which come into effect from midnight tonight.

It is estimated these new levies will cost the average householder an extra €2,000 a year.

Price hikes and benefit cuts announced in December's Budget will all kick in from January 1.

Among the new charges to be introduced is the controversial new €100 household charge, which many politicians have already pledged not to pay.

A 2% hike in VAT also takes effect from tomorrow. However, Finance Minister Michael Noonan has stressed that this increase will not apply to some food, children's clothing or oral medicine.

A VAT rate of 9% will remain in place for goods and services sold in the hospitality and tourism sectors.

Child benefit is also set to change. A family with three children will be down €228 over the course of next year, while a four-child family will lose €432.

Home and motor insurance premiums will increase, due to a new 2% levy on all non-health insurance policies.

In the health insurance market, Quinn Insurance has raised its prices by up to 22%, and Aviva's prices go up by 15% in February.

This means the cost of renewing cover for a family with two adults and two children will jump by €400 over the year.

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