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'It's the children who will suffer in long run'

THE effect of the Budget means Charlie Cleary and his wife Maria are going to have to re-examine their own household budget.

They have three children and while the expected €10 across-the-board cut in child benefit didn't materialise, Charlie said they would feel the €19 reduction in the payment for the third child.

His eldest, Paddy, is eight, followed by Conor, four, and Sean, who is two.

"It's the child that's going to suffer in the long run, no matter where it is taken," Charlie said.

"When we get the child benefit, that goes straight into the mortgage. We've been having to do that, but now we're going to have to take €19 from our wages.

Mr Cleary (42), from Tyrellstown, Dublin, worked in construction until 2003 when he suffered a back injury, but does not qualify for a medical card.

His wife works as a catering manager. They applied for a medical card last year but were €50 above the threshold. "The way it's going, you'll have to pay for everything yourself," he said. "You'll pay maintenance charges, water charges are coming in, bin charges are coming in. You're paying through the nose. Where is my tax going?"

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