Austin Hughes is one of Ireland's leading economic commentators. An expert on issues affecting the Irish and European economies, he is a regular contributor in the media and also works as Chief Economist here in KBC.
He has a wealth of economic experience, working for KBC for over 25 years following stints in the Department of Finance, Central Bank and Bord Failte.
Budget 2016 - Pain or Gain?
The upcoming Budget will put a little bit more in our pockets but it’s important to realise that any gains are likely to be fairly modest. There simply isn’t room for any major increase in spending or dramatic cuts in taxes but the stronger Irish economy is helping the public finances and there is a need to suggest that we’ve turned a corner.
While the Irish economy is clearly improving, many households and businesses don’t feel they’re seeing any benefit. Instead, they’re continuing to struggle.
For this reason, the Budget is likely to include some cuts in income taxes and modest increases in the old age pension, child benefit and the main social welfare payments.
There may be some increase in taxes on tobacco and possibly on alcohol but, overall, most people should feel at least a couple of Euro better each week.