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Where the axe will fall

Where the axe will fall

What Brendan Howlin is expected to announce, despite Labour's promises:

•Child benefit payments of €167 for a third child and €177 for fourth and subsequent children to be brought down to €140.

The payment of €140 per month to first and second child is likely to remain untouched.

These cuts would break a general election promise by Labour to prevent Fine Gael from cutting child benefit.

•Third-level registration fees are likely to rise from their current level of €2,000.

But Education Minister Ruairi Quinn had promised during the general election to prevent any hikes. He also previously promised to reverse an increase from €1,500 to €2,000 -- but it went ahead last September.

•Details of how the 23,000 cut to public sector numbers will impact frontline services over the next four years. This could see class sizes increase if teacher numbers are cut.

•Garda station closures. Most of the controversial decisions will be confined to big urban centres, with Dublin likely to face restricted opening hours in a number of stations. At present the capital has 49 stations open around the clock. Barracks around the country that are in poor condition, or are only manned for a few hours a week, are also set to close.

•Plus a €750m cut in capital spending that is expected to see major road and rail projects cancelled or put on hold.

Irish Independent