It is looking very likely that Fine Gael will be in government after the 25th February election – either in a coalition or in sole power.
How will a Fine Gael government affect the money in your pocket?
These are some of the FG policies that could have a direct effect on your income and spending.
Fine Gael is opposed to further tax rises and is also opposed to Fianna Fail’s plan to reduce tax credits and rate bands .
USC – Fine Gael will make no immediate changes – but they say a review of the effect of the USC is required before the next Budget.
DIRT – FG plan to increase Dirt tax to 30 per cent .
Jobseekers – Fine Gael propose €3 a week cut in unemployment benefit in 2012 and a €4 weekly reduction in 2013.
Property Tax : Fine Gael will hand over the choice on property taxes to the local authorities. Local authorities could opt not to increase local taxes, increase local charges for waste and services or introduce a ‘‘site sale profits tax.
VAT : Fine Gael will raise the standard 21 per cent rate of Vat to 23% over 2 years but will cut the lower VAT rate (curently 13.5%) by at least 1.5 per cent.
NPPR – Fine Gael say they will increase NPPR from €200 to €300 per year.
Mortages : Fine Gael are proposing to increase mortgage interest relief to 30 % cent for first-time buyers who bought between 2004 and 2008 and abolish relief for new buyers.
They are also talking about a deferred interest scheme, and introducing a universal mortgage indemnity insurance to protect against any future risks of negative equity.