Fifty-one billion euro. It is a lot of money. This is the amount which the Irish Government spent on public services and departments in 2016. Could you handle the decision of where to spend this money? We are asking you again to take part in our People's Budget.
Started in 2015, we ask people if they were the Minister of Finance, how would they split the budget. They can adjust each of the expenditure and income areas to balance the budget for the following year. We begin with the estimated amounts to be spent or collected and allow people to adjust based on their interests. Some want more money spent on health, others want tax cut, while other people want an increase in pensions.
Everyone has a different perspective on the nation's budget - what is yours?
How the budget was spent in 2016
Last year, tens of thousands of people told us how they would invest the money. The results give us an indication of how people feel about the economy and the areas of Irish life they believe should be improved.
"Keep the Recovery Going"
As we have reported in the past two years, the majority of Irish people didn't believe the country had recovered. While Fine Gael was suggesting tax cuts to gain popularity in the general election, Irish people were more interested in social spending. When we asked people how they would divide €1.5 billion adjustments to the 2016 Budget, people wanted greater investments in health, education and social protection over cuts in income tax, such as "abolishing the USC."
Take a bite out of Apple
The only tax which people believed should be increased in 2015 was corporation tax. Following the Apple Tax debate, we will be exploring this further in this year's People's Budget. Do you believe corporations should be taxed low to create jobs, or do you believe corporation tax should pay for hospitals, schools and supports?
An insight into our economic beliefs
The People's Budget provides us with an understanding of our relationship with money. We will be showcasing how different regions, age groups, and types of people value various elements of every day living. As economists and accountants will debate tax rates and bands, we will focus on how budget decisions have an impact on our parent's health, our children's education, what we can afford and how much is in our pockets.
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