The nation awoke this morning to the latest round of austerity measures following Minister Michael Noonan’s budget pronouncements yesterday afternoon
The Government were said to have signed off on €2.5 million worth of cuts and taxes on Sunday night and among the early disclosures were said to be lifelines to hard-pressed families and a raft of social welfare cuts. By all accounts some sectors of society were facing further devastation but others were experiencing the relief of supports which would help them cope in the current economic climate.
Budgets, by their very nature, almost always bring some element of hardship to a majority of citizens and this one promised to be no different. This is the seventh budget to be presented with especially severe measures for the Irish taxpayers. They have endured much over the last number of years and some alleviation of pressure is not before time.
However, pundits were predicting that this was going to be no less harsh a budget than those which have been presented in recent years. Indeed, Mr. Noonan had himself forewarned of a continuity of the austere measures which have been a feature of all of his budgets during his tenure in the finance Department to date. We can only hope that some level of respite is offered to as many people as possible today and that the plight of those already under huge pressure is not exacerbated in a very significant way.