Saturday 16 December 2017

Budget 2011: Your views

We asked you to leave your reaction to what has been billed as the toughest Budget in the history of the State. Here is what you had to say:

As I was walking past the bus station in Galway today a child ran up to me and asked if I had 75 cent to spare so that he get home. The €10 reduction in child benefit and a further €10 reduction for a third chid is ludicrous and clearly punishes larger families who have the least amount of money, if any to spare. The budget makes me shiver thinking about that poor boy and how he will most likely have to walk home in the ice and snow in the coming months.

Catriona, Galway

Yet again we see a government take advantage of the hardest hit section of the population.

Not only are we now being penalised for being unemployed but also for having three or more children, while self employed persons are penalized for trying to stay in business in these troubled times.

Although some measures are welcome ie the removal of employers prsi other measures have not gone far enough. Public sector pay should have been capped at a lower rate, ministers pay should also have been capped at lower rates and a reduction in the number of minister presently employed by the Irish people.

And just because you decide to call something a Universal Social charge doesn't mean its not just another form of tax. In recent times i have come to the conclusion our government and all other politicians are living in some fairy land protected by their ignorance of what is actually happening in Ireland.

I challenge all politicians to live on the current social welfare over the coming Christmas and maybe get an actual idea of what many people in Ireland are dealing with every week.

For a current synopses of Ireland over the past 100yrs we just have to read Geroge Orwells Animal Farm, replace the farmer with the English and replace the pigs with Irish politicians.


To leave the sanctuary of the Sterling in 1979 and then join a new currency flawed from the beginning was unwise at the time and in retrospect reckless. Ireland now needs to quit the Euro, print its own money return to the Sterling area and devalue. Until this is done all other efforts are irrelevant. Sadly there is nothing even hinting at wealth creation in either the budget or the four year plan, yet we have a golden opportunity to sell off every State agency which fails to pay a dividend, attract outside investment and management skills and fire the grossly overpaid executives. This action is a priority.

Charles, Tipperary

Can someone please explain why, on the one hand, the minister can say that no group can be exempt from these budget cuts, while he has clearly exempted two groups – pensioners and corporations?

And then to make matters worse – when he was questioned on RTE by Mary Wilson this evening about cuts to the Children’s Allowance, he defended it by saying it was already way above similar payments in other European countries. And, sorry, but the old age pension isn’t?

Siobhan, Dublin

Why is there no duty rise on cigarettes??

The duty on the property should surely be based on annual income rather than value of property. My parents are lucky worked extremely hard for 30 years to buy and complete payments on a nice house but at this stage in their lives, they have little or no income and will struggle to afford the tax.

Carol Ann

I am relieved that there was no new property tax included in Budget 2011. However, there was too much emphasis, in general, on tax increases and not enough emphasis on public expenditure reductions. Our public spending is still far too high, and will remain so after Tuesday's Budget. Our Social Welfare rates are still amongst the highest in the world (far higher than Britain's for example), and will have to be brought down dramatically over the coming years. Our Social Welfare rates are too great for a country of our small size and they remain a disincentive for work. It appears that the sitting Government have left this huge public spending problem for the next Government to solve, which is not very statesmenlike.


Though I have every sympathy for the ever growing numbers of people out of work, and my heart goes out to them facing yet another cut, surely the likes of disability allowance, carers allowance, blind allowance etc. should be uncoupled from the dole. In the case of carers allowance in many cases it would cost the state ( i.e. the taxpayer) thousands of euros per week to look after the cared for individual.

It still costs these unfortunate individuals the same money to buy a loaf of bread, gallon of petrol/kerosene, insurance etc. as it does a very highly paid TD or civil servant.

Gerry, Wexford

Investors and bond-holders who lent to Irish banks did so under private sector lending arrangements. The loans were presumably made under the assumed risk of non-repayment, and this risk was priced into the loan arrangements. The largest of such lenders include British and Gernan banks. What the Irish government has done is to swop these private sector loans with sovereign loans between Ireland and other countries. And to add insult to injury, the sovereign loans with the EU are at a penal 7%. This was a bailout of European banks - not the Irish ones. The draconian budget yesterday would not have been necessary but for the blanket guarantee of bank debts made two years ago, and which has culminated in the bank bail-out and now an austerity budget that would do Margaret Thatcher proud. Well done, Biffo.


In brief, FF have hit the low and middle earners again and let the Fat Cats walk away laughing as usual.

While the hits on the middle earners is acceptable, it is not so to the lower paid in our society.

FF seem to foster a policy of self preservation, protection for the wealthy and punishment for the hoi polloi.

They didn't do enough with Public Sector cuts and their own salary cuts, especially Biffo's and they certainly didn't wield the axe well enough on Government (wasteful) spending.

Just can't wait to vote them out. Mind you...the alternative looks grim, but FF need a good kicking.

The FF party should dissolve itself for good, they are a disgrace to the memory of De-Valera and the founding members of the party. From the ashes a new, "younger" party should emerge, with the kind of moral values that the current gang are lacking in.

Tony, Limerick

I would have some consolation in putting up with these taxes if the bankers, developers and politicians responsible for this debacle were in jail.


A typical FF Budget, looking after their own needs and their banker/developer/estate agent friends who assisted with this mess. When will we ever learn? All existing TDs from the existing Government parties should be sacked, a new ministerial government installed without an election between Fine Gael/ Labour/Sinn Fein and if they cannot achieve a fair budget then we should have an election to determine a new government. Also the no of TDS should be SUBSTANTIALLY REDUCED and the SEANNAD ABOLISHED.

Brian, Drogheda

The minister excuses his mauling of the public with the mantra "the cost of living has gone down." Has anyone told the banks, as they have and no doubt will continue to raise mortgage rates?

Why were salaries so high? Forget the incidentals; it was to afford housing at inflated prices due to bank funded speculators fuelling the bubble.

Now, salaries are to be cut via taxes, most of the money going to bail out the banks.

Does the real world stop at the doors of Leinster House?


The agreed changes will devastate me. I will now have an extra tax liability of €8.5K per year arising from this single change not to mention all the other hits for me in the budget.

I am not a very high earner (€65K in private sector, no pay increase since 2003) with lots of properties (3 including my home) already struggling to make my mortgage re-payments. How can the Government change the goal posts for the likes of me.

I suspect this change will result in a huge jump in mortgage defaults over the next 6 months and a further flood "Ghost Apartments"

Angry, the midlands

I'm self employed and I'm very discouraged to see that I'm paying extra taxes compared to the usual employee. I'm having huge trouble getting paid by my customers as it is but now I have to worry about extra taxes too. More effort for less money...who in their right mind would do that? I think I'd be better off going back to work for another company as an employee at this stage .


I am a mother of 3 who works 22 hours a week for the last 21 years and my children are 6,7 and 1, why are we penalising the 3rd child as I pay out €600 in childcare and also have to pay for doctors, medical etc.... it was hardly worth my while working as it was and this makes it harder.

They go on about our UK neighbours most of their health care is free and so is childcare at a certain age and the kids start earlier in school, are in longer and have less time off in the summer, so it is easier to work around, go ahead and deduct the €40 but all primary school children should have free GP visits. As is stands someone on a CEO sheme is better off than someone who has been working and paying taxes all alone.


I am, I assume like every other mother in this Country appalled at the savage cuts being forced upon families in this atrocity they are calling a “Budget”. A single mother (with 2 children) on Job Seekers Benefit will lose almost 75 euro a month, almost 20 euro a week! How can this be justified as “tough but fair”, there is no fairness in that what so ever. Yet again the rich in this country continue to get richer while the poor get poorer, it’s like Robin Hood in reverse! On another note, it is another injustice for Ministers to “Resign” and still be entitled to huge severance packages & pensions, if I chose to “Resign” tomorrow I wouldn’t even qualify for Social Welfare as it would be deemed that I ‘gave up employment’ I would choose to be unemployed so entitled to nothing! Again with the double standard.

If I was in a position to leave Ireland with my children I would go in a heartbeat, before the Government takes that too!


I am sorry for the people who are hit with the cuts that were made,but I am happy they left the pension alone as a lot of people depend on it! the remark that was made about the wasps last sting, wasps keep on stinging.


I am a public servant and have lost to the government levies the same as everyone else, last week my husband lost his job , now we are being penalised again because of the incompentence of the government and the banks.

Putting alot of people especially the children in the poverty bracket going back to the 50s and 60s instead of going forward by the way the Celtic Tiger never reached Donegal , i am seriously thinking of emigrating and stuff the whole lot of them.

Trisha, Donegal

As always the p.a.y.e . worker has picked up the tab for our bankers developers etc. While this will never change I feel that the cost of electricity ,gas, groceries should have been cut as well to make it feel that everybody is paying and give hard pressed people some benefit from this awful situation.

Liam, Kildare

I don’t know how Fianna Fail expect to retain any seats in the next General Election after all the mismanagement of the country 's affairs over the last number of years. If they worked for a private company they would be out on their ear with no big pensions and fat salaries , what have they done for this country except run it into the ground .


This budget is a vicious assault on the poor and those on low incomes. While I agree that everyone should contribute fairly, those already struggling for survival will struggle even more. This budget was specifically designed to protect the public and civil service so that the political establishment could go out and hawk their wares to that sector during the election. It loudly proclaims "Vote for us, and we will protect you". It will not convince the markets and it does not convince the majority of Irish people who can see through the ruse. As for sharing the pain equally at the top...cutting the salaries of the Taoiseach and the Ministers by the amounts they did, adds insult to injury. Far too little. These people failed us and they are still being rewarded for failure with stratospheric salaries. This budget cossetted those who did not need help.


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