'It means a loss of €200 every month’

A YOUNG couple who are trying to save for a deposit on a house have been hit with a further blow by the imposition of another e200 in levies every month by this week’s budget.

Hugh Cronin and Eileen Canavan are both 25 and have been in permanent jobs as primary school teachers for just more than three years. But their combined take-home pay has fallen by almost e500 a month to about e4,200 since last October’s budget, with the 1% income levy in place since January and the public service pension levy which took effect in March.

The couple live in Carrignavar in Co Cork with their four-year-old son Luke, who is in junior infants at Scoil an Chroí Ró Naofa in Blarney where Hugh also teaches, and their second child is due in early June. “We are renting a house which costs just over e1,000 a month, but we’re trying to save for a deposit at the same time. We’ve been to all the banks and nobody is offering more than 90% loans so we need to put together around e25,000 to e35,000,” said Hugh.

But that saving effort has been further impeded by Tuesday’s budget, which doubled the income levy to 2% of gross income and the health levy from 2% to 4% of all workers’ pay.

“That’s going to mean another e200 out of our pockets every month, it’s going to be impossible to put anything away now, never mind keep. I know there’s a lot of people after losing jobs in the private sector, but even people like us as public servants are really feeling the pinch.”

Hugh and Eileen, will have the early childcare supplement halved from next month and abolished from next year as will all parents of children under six.

“As teachers, we’re obviously pleased that some of the money will go instead towards early education. But it will still be a loss to us as parents, with two young children from this summer because the biggest cost of kids is in the early years,” Hugh said.

“We’re both only in our respective schools a few years but the Government’s cap on school management promotions also means we have little chance of furthering our careers for a couple of years,” he said.


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