LAURA BYRNE (29), from Ballyhaunis, Co Mayo, earned €100 a week more when she started in the civil service four years ago.
Cuts and levies have since brought take-home pay down to €404 a week for the clerical officer with the Probation Service in Castlebar.
Married, with her husband working in the private sector, Laura has no children and says she cannot afford any.
Faced with an 80km round trip a day to and from work and with an €800-a-month mortgage, she says she has nothing left to give in terms of more cuts.
"After paying the bills, there's no surplus, no saving for a rainy day. We rarely go out and God forbid you should get sick and need money for treatment.
"Because you're in the civil service people think you're on great money and are in a permanent and pensionable job but that image is very far from the truth."
If the new Croke Park Agreement is accepted, her next increment will be frozen, costing her €300 in the year, while her working week would increase from 35 to 37 hours.