TANAISTE Eamon Gilmore has defended the Budget, saying it was the toughest the country will have to put up with but the vulnerable have to be protected.
Mr Gilmore said the Government knows it's "tough".
"We know it's tough. We know it's difficult. We know how it is impacting on people. We have done our best to ensure that it is fair.
"It does take us now where we can see the finishing line on these type of measures having to be introduced in the future," he said on RTE News.