Budget to see cut to USC and change in tax bands

There will be a cut to the Universal Social Charge in next week's budget.

The Irish Independent reports there will also be a change to income tax bands as Finance Minister Paschal Donohue negotiates a deal with Fianna Fáil.

The USC cut will help the so-called "squeezed middle" earning up to €70,000 a year, while the tax band tweak will benefit those on over €33,800.

But the overall increase in workers' pay slips is likely to be less than €20 a month.

Meanwhile, Fianna Fáil’s finance spokesman Micheal McGrath and public expenditure spokesman Dara Calleary are meeting with Mr Donohoe this week.

It is understood the main negotiations between both parties centre around changes to both the USC and income tax bands.

While Fianna Fáil maintain they want to move to phase out USC, Fine Gael have signalled their intention to widen the tax bands to ease the pressure on the “squeezed middle”.

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