The countdown to the most feared budget in the history of the State has well and truly begun and here starts the rumour and speculation as to what Brian ‘The Knife’ Lenihan will do.
Bookie Paddy Power has ponied up some odds for those of you who like to have a little flutter on such speculation - and he feels it is going to be a ‘Robin Hood’ budget on December 9.
And if Paddy’s odds turn out to be correct, it signals bad news for Ireland’s elite!
Paddy Power are quoting 1/10 that child benefit will be reduced for parents earning €100,000 plus per annum, and just 5/2 that one or more of the income levies will be increased for people earning €100,000 upwards.
As far as tax and PRSI are concerned, Paddy Power are betting 3/1 that a third rate of income tax will be introduced for people earning over €100,000.
Another area that could be hit in this year’s budget could be ‘Trophy Houses’.
It’s 2/1 that Taoiseach Brian Cowen introduces a special tax on people who own trophy houses – that’s any house worth more than €1million.
It’s still unclear what lies in store for the public sector but it’s 10/1 that the top public sector salary gets reduced to €150,000 or less per annum.
Sharon McHugh, spokesperson for Paddy Power said: “If the Taoiseach plays his cards right Budget 2009 could be an opportunity for him to change from the Sheriff of Nottingham to Robin Hood!”