Irish budget lifts allowances and focuses on job creation

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The Independent Online
DUBLIN - Sweeping changes in personal tax allowances and in reliefs for small and medium-sized businesses were the central features of an Irish budget in which Bertie Ahern, Finance Minister, said 'every measure was focused on job creation', writes Alan Murdoch.

As expected, Mr Ahern considerably widened the main 27 per cent standard rate tax band. He lifted personal allowances by Ir pounds 350 ( pounds 336.53) for a married couple and Ir pounds 175 for a single person.

Other concessions will benefit low earners with large families, with a new higher monthly Ir pounds 25 rate of child benefit for third and subsequent children.

A multitude of measures to stimulate employment and encourage workers to take up low-paid jobs included reduced employers' social insurance.

Old reliables were hit after largely escaping last year, with 8p added to 20 cigarettes, 3p on a pint of beer and a half-measure of spirits, and 10p on a bottle of wine.

The projected public sector borrowing requirement in 1994 was higher than many expected at Ir pounds 798m to help fuel economic development.