JANE Gannon Mooney is just one of many mothers afraid to let her young children out to play on the ghost estate they call home.
Jane, along with her husband Darren, moved from Dublin to Williamstown, Galway, six years ago in search of a lower-cost lifestyle amid spiralling creche fees.
Darren set up as a self-employed painter and decorator two years ago after he lost his job when the building industry collapsed. They live in a house in Glynndale Court with Sean (4) and Kayleigh (11).
"We would probably be lucky to sell our house for €70,000; it has fallen from €190,000. We are living on one of the unfinished estates," said Jane, who works part-time.
They are exempt from the household charge, and are exempt from paying the new property tax for the moment.
However, Jane said she was expecting to have to pay the tax at some stage – while they are continuing to live without street lights and in the midst of half-finished houses.
"I don't feel safe leaving the children out to play. We have been fighting with the council for three years and have gotten nowhere, they have just put a bit of fencing up," she said.
"It is the same as everyone else, we are feeling it very hard," she said, with all the various rises such as car tax hikes putting pressure on their limited income. The family will also feel the pinch from the €10 cut to child benefit. Jane warned the low-income and middle-income families once again seemed to be being squeezed.
"It doesn't seem fair as it is not hitting where it should be hitting," she said.
"Child benefit is very important to us. We use it to help out with schooling costs and household bills. €10 doesn't seem like a lot but between all of the cuts it does make a big difference."