MY BUDGET: Squeeze on self-employed makes me want to emigrate
SELF-employed Alan Duncan (29) said the Budget is an "absolute joke" and could well drive him and his wife Tamara (26) to emigrate.
He believes it offers no incentives to expand their marketing company, to buy property or to start a family.
The couple rent a home in Newbridge and run a business together.
But, seeing as Tamara is Australian, they have the option of leaving the country for a new life in Oz.
Alan said: "The hike in PRSI for self-employed people is an absolute joke. We created jobs for ourselves and set up a marketing company in a very difficult economy but where's the payback?"
He's angry that the self-employed have been targeted. "I'm livid because there were times we fell sick while setting up the business in the past year but we couldn't afford to go to the doctor and just had to ride it out and hope we'd get better.
"Now if the company goes belly up we're not entitled to any help from the State and yet they decide to charge us hundreds more in PRSI," he told the Herald.
He argues that Ireland is no longer a place to start a family. "As first-time buyers we wouldn't have to pay the property tax until 2016 but we still don't feel there's any incentive to buy.
"We look three years down the line and can't see how there will be any major improvements in the economy, and to be stuck with a mortgage would only make us feel more despairing," he said.
He explained: "Tamara's maternity benefit would now be taxed while we'd have to pay someone to come in to cover for her in the business if we had a baby, so that's not an option.
"We have the choice of going to Australia because Tamara is Australian and there is a demand there for people who work in marketing. We're thinking, why not?"