‘€100 put on home carer’s tax credit doesn’t come close to al­le­vi­at­ing pres­sure’

Irish Independent - - News | Budget 2018 - Dean Gray

STAY-AT-HOME par­ent Pauline O’Reilly be­lieves her choice to care for her chil­dren at home is not val­ued, with a mea­gre €100 in­crease in her home carer’s tax credit.

The mother of two gave up her ca­reer as a so­lic­i­tor in Gal­way seven years ago to rear her chil­dren Finn and Cara, now aged 10 and six.

“Last year there was a huge con­cen­tra­tion on af­ford­able child­care and loads of money was put into that and it was worth over €1,000 to a fam­ily of two work­ing par­ents, and we’re sup­posed to feel that €100 of a home carer’s tax credit is to be cel­e­brated.”

She feels the Bud­get has pushed the coun­try to­wards two par­ents work­ing out­side the home, who then must use crèches.

Ms O’Reilly favours a flex­i­ble child­care al­lowance that al­lows all par­ents to de­cide for them­selves what suits their fam­i­lies.

“The home carer’s tax credit is there to in some way make up for the tax in­di­vid­u­al­i­sa­tion, but that doesn’t even come close,” said Ms O’Reilly, a vol­un­teer mem­ber of the Stay-at-Home Par­ents’ As­so­ci­a­tion.

“I mean, you could be talk­ing about a tax bill in­crease of around €4,000 for a fam­ily if one par­ent stays at home and that’s with a salary of around €50,000, so that’s a mas­sive dis­crep­ancy and there was only €100 put on the home carer’s tax credit.

“That doesn’t come close to al­le­vi­at­ing the pres­sure.

“Some peo­ple might say, ‘well it’s your choice’, but I don’t think we should have a coun­try where we’re no longer al­lowed to make any choices.”

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