Austerity must come with light at end of tunnel
As New Year's Day dawns tomorrow it will bring with it a raft of savage tax increases and higher charges that could end up costing the average family as much as €2,000 per year.
It has become a grim annual ritual. As one savage Budget has followed another, the start of each year is not a time for hope and celebration but for calculating the impact on the family budget of the latest round of tax hikes and increased charges.
Most attention has been focused on the Government's plans to introduce a new "household charge", in reality a proto-property tax, which will come into force tomorrow. While the household charge has been set at a low initial rate of just €100 per year no one is fooled. Most analysts expect that households will be paying an average of at least €1,000 per annum in residential property tax and water charges within a few years.