Budget 2017: What does it mean for you?

Newstalk and Grant Thornton will continue to answer your questions until 7pm this evening. Text us on 53106 (€0.30) or tweet using #MyBudget

The budget is in and some of the main talking points from a breathless day in Leinster House include a 50c rise in the price of cigarettes, a 0.5% fall in the USC across all bands and a €5 increase to the old age pension.

A new means-tested childcare scheme is set to be introduced in September 2017 - however the government has left us with more questions than answers on this one with specific details still to be announced.

The introduction of a new income tax rebate of up to 5% under the government’s new Help-to-Buy scheme for new homes was designed to provide some relief to first-time buyers - however many commentators are suggesting it is the builders who will really benefit from the scheme.

The country’s bars and boozers will be raising a glass this evening to the news that there will be no increase to the price of alcohol this year and with no change in the cost of diesel or petrol, the boy racers will be buzzing too.

But how has #Budget2017 affected your bottom line? Get your questions in through the hash tag #MyBudget or by texting in on 53106 (€0.30) and Jess Kelly and the team at Grant Thornton will cut through the chafe and fill you in on exactly what it all means for your back pocket.

INCOME

Hi to the panel. I bought a 15 year old house in 2014. I am unmarried with one child. Is there anything in the budget for us? We are both middle income earners.

Cuts to the USC should see a small increase in your take-home pay and you can avail of the home renovation credit.

I’m a single professional mother of 2 primary school kids, paying for after school care ... Any money for me towards that?

You will benefit from the cuts in USC. There were no changes to the child benefit allowance. We are still awaiting further details on child care cost.

I'm self employed and have 2 children aged 6 and 9. What does this all mean for us?

There was an increase of €400 in the earned income tax credit and the USC changes and child care package will all be of benefit to you.

SOCIAL WELFARE

What about the Christmas bonus for social welfare? And the children’s allowance increase or decrease, I didn't hear anything about it ...

The Christmas bonus has been increased from 75% to 85%. No further increases or decreases have been announced in the children allowances.

How will the budget affect students?

If you are earning money from a part time job, you should be better off with the USC cuts.

HOUSING

If I availed of the home renovation in 2014 can I do it again under the new extension?

It is a life-time limit but a number of payments can be made provided it doesn't exceed the specified limit of €4,050.

Why is the Help-To-Buy-Scheme only for new properties? Seems like more of a measure for first-time-sellers than first-time-buyers.

The thinking is that second properties don't increase the pool available to buyers, instead a home renovation credit is now available to home owners to extend their properties.

Re: first time buyers of "new houses" - What will define 'new'? Houses built this year, under construction?

‘New Houses’ applies only to houses built from 19 July 2016 in this instance.

Can you give further details on mortgage interest relief please?

The Minister plans to extend mortgage interest relief to 2020. Further details will be announced in next year's budget.

USC

I earn €38,000 a year. What impact will the changes to USC have on my take home pay?

You should see an increase of €193 in your pocket each year due to the USC cuts.

CHILDCARE

What about those on FIS?

Unfortunately no real details available yet.  There is a Single Affordable Childcare scheme that is being introduced from September 2017 for children between six months and 15 years & universal subsidies for all children aged 6 months to three years.

Lone parents were hard hit by austerity measures but was there anything in #Budget2017 for them?

Unfortunately no real details available yet.  There is a Single Affordable Childcare scheme that is being introduced from September 2017 for children between six months and 15 years & universal subsidies for all children aged 6 months to three years.

I've a child in 20hrs childcare...does that mean nothing for me?

Unfortunately there are no real details available yet.  There is a Single Affordable Childcare scheme that is being introduced from September 2017 for children between six months and 15 years and there are universal subsidies for all children aged 6 months to 3 years.

PENSIONS

Was there anything about the pension levy?

No mention of pension levies but the expected reduction from January 2017 will go ahead.

Newstalk and Grant Thornton will continue to answer your questions until 7pm this evening. Text us on 53106 (€0.30) or tweet using #MyBudget

OTHER

I'm on Partial Capacity Benefit (severe rating) what does it mean for me??

There was nothing specific in relation to Partial Capacity Benefit but you will benefit from the USC cuts.

What will this mean for a single earner in a family of six with no children's allowance, paying rent in private property? Three in courses on €10.75 an hour.

Assuming a 40 hour working week, 50 weeks a year at €10.75 an hour, it may be a saving of approximately €110 per year.

Newstalk and Grant Thornton will continue to answer your questions until 7pm this evening. Text us on 53106 (€0.30) or tweet using #MyBudget