EAMON QUINN: ESRI: First progressive budget in years

The suspension of water charges helped make October budget of spending rises and mild tax cuts the first for a number of years that “had a progressive flavour” benefiting the lowest income group, the ESRI has found.

Other measures that were not directly linked to the budget package but which helped boost those on low incomes included increases in rent supplements, which had been cut during the deep austerity years from 2011, the study found.

Increases in welfare payments, which had been frozen for a number of years, also played a substantial part in boosting the lowest-income group.

Among family types, lone parents not in employment and unemployed couples gained the most.

It was “the first time in a number of years that [the budget] has had a progressive flavour”, said Professor Tim Callan, one of the report’s authors.

The ESRI stated: “Higher welfare payments helped to ensure that incomes for those relying on social welfare benefits rose in line with general incomes. Changes to rent supplement in advance of the budget and the suspension of water charges mean that percentage gains in income were highest for the lowest income group.”

Specific budget measures announced in October favoured the 10% of households with the lowest income.

Another analysis, on the effects of all measures announced in the calendar year, showed the lowest income group benefited most, “largely due to the suspension of water charges and the increase in maximum rent limits for the rent supplement scheme”.


The Cosmetify Index reveals the cosmetics companies that are generating the most buzz online – and Dubai-based Huda Kattan has the top spot.Huda Beauty tops the 10 ‘most popular’ beauty brands this year

Read the script of Kya deLongchamps’ kitchen-sink drama to set the scene to make an informed choice when selecting this home essentialTake the plunge: Read this checklist before you splash out on your new kitchen sink

SOMETIMES, the journey is more important than the destination. And sometimes, we just want to sit at home eating a bag of jelly beans, while thinking about more jelly beans. Life is only as significant or special as we make it.GameTech: Death Stranding is a divisive, beautiful journey packaged in a cool world

Former Oasis drummer Tony McCarroll tells Richard Purden about the mad times when five Manc-Irish lads became one of the biggest rock bands in the worldNot looking back in anger: Former Oasis drummer looks back at the mad times of one of the biggest rock bands in the world

More From The Irish Examiner