Sunday 19 November 2017

Move to extend free GP care to children under 12 'absolutlely huge for us,' says Dublin mum

mY bUDGET the family

Gillian Ryan and her family, Husband, Kevin with Matthew (5) and Amy (14) at their Rathfarnham home
Gillian Ryan and her family, Husband, Kevin with Matthew (5) and Amy (14) at their Rathfarnham home

Dublin mum Gillian Ryan (37) said that the proposal to extend free GP care to children under 12 was definitely one measure that she welcomed in the Budget.

"That is absolutely huge for us. I have another baby on the way and it costs €55 to visit the doctor," she said.

Gillian who lives in Rathfarnham, is mum to Amy (14) and Matthew (5), and her new baby is due in March.

However, she was less impressed with the small rise in the amount of child benefit, which was increased by €5 to €140.

"The increase of €5 on child benefit, I thought that was okay. It is better than a reduction, it is a plus," she said.

"But I would have preferred to see that go towards helping the homeless or something like that to be honest."

Gillian said that at the moment, she will be up €10 a month as a result of the hike.

She also said she was also interested to see the introduction of the free pre-school year for children aged between three and five years.

"That is great, really good," she said.

Families are being hailed as one of the big winners in this year's Budget, and Gillian said that she definitely thought it was positive.

"It was definitely better than the last one anyway," she said.

Her husband Kevin (50) is a self-employed civil engineer, so he won't get the benefit of the two weeks paid parental leave being introduced for fathers as part of the State's childcare plan.

However, Gillian felt this measure would be welcomed by many families.

She said that Kevin will definitely benefit from the new €550 per year tax credit for the self-employed which was unveiled in the Budget.

"It's good, it would cover half our health insurance or something like that," the mum-to-be said.

Meanwhile, she was also delighted that the family won't be facing an increased local property tax bill next year.

"That is very good news," said Gillian, after Finance Minister Michael Noonan said he will be making a proposal to Government to postpone the revaluation date for tax from 2016 to 2019.

Meanwhile, she said that she works from home and can call on her mum if she needs help with her childcare.

"The cost of childcare put me off going back to work full-time outside the home," she said.

Gillian helps mums-to-be and mums with their maternity wardrobes by appointment in her home based showroom.

She also has an online website, www.stylemama.ie.

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