BUSINESS leaders have given their backing to the Budget, as new research reveals that three-fifths think it strikes the right balance between austerity and growth.
A survey of 500 chief executives and chief financial officers from the country's largest companies found that 58pc thought it struck the right balance between achieving fiscal targets and boosting confidence in the economy.
"The survey confirms that Budget 2014 is laying the foundations towards recovery and an economy that should be better placed to do business post the bailout," said PwC's head of tax Fergal O'Rourke.
The survey also revealed an increase in post-budget business confidence. Two-fifths said they were confident about their business in the wake of the Budget, compared with a quarter in 2012.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, an alliance of non-governmental organisations has condemned Budget 2014.
In a survey conducted among 40 non-profit organisations by the Public Interest Law Alliance (PILA), just under 70pc said their members' interests had been downgraded.
The NGO alliance is calling for "equality proofing" of all cuts and tax increases in future. This would have the Government publish an evaluation of how different sections of society will be affected by any proposed changes before the Budget is decided upon. It is standard practice in countries such as Scotland and Australia.
"A complete set of forecasts showing the effects of budgetary changes on marginalised groups of society should be produced every year" said a PILA spokesperson.