What they said and what they actually mean
Taoiseach Brian Cowen:
What he said: "Clearly with the benefit of hindsight now, one would say there were certain things one would do differently. But in relation to the fact we are in a new situation, we have to deal with the situation where it is.
"It's not a question of apportioning blame. That debate we've been having for two years and the people will speak on it shortly anyway."
What he means: I'm not going to apologise for any mistakes I made. If you don't like it, you'll have a chance to make your views known in the General Election.
What he said: "It's time for us to pull together as a people, time for us to confront this challenge and to do so in a united way."
What he means: Please support this plan and don't go marching on the streets and creating anarchy like those Greeks.
What he said: "I wish to hand over to John Gormley, the leader of the Green Party."
What he means: Notice that I didn't mention that you're also the Minister for the Environment. That's a subtle put-down for you John, for daring to announce that you want to pull a General Election in January.
Finance Minister Brian Lenihan:
What he said: "By providing certainty to consumers, the plan will build the confidence this economy so badly needs. That confidence will impact on our domestic demand, that will expand employment in those sectors that serve retail demand."
What he means: I know I said last year that the economy was turning the corner. But this time I really believe that cutting people's wages and increasing their taxes will make them spend more.
What he said: "This document has to be the basis of any sensible proposals for the next general election. Anything else that is put forward is nonsense."
What he means: Don't believe the opposition when they say they can do a better job and inflict less pain than us.