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Bookies hoping 'recession' will be a winner

NEVER ones to pass up on an opportunity, the bookies are now taking bets on the recession.

Punters hoping to lay some money on Tuesday's Budget can get odds of 2/1 that Finance Minister Brian Lenihan will mention the words "economic downturn" during his speech.

Boylesports is also offering evens that "credit crunch" will not feature in the speech and 6/4 on "recession" not being used .

Following on from Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny's commitment to cut 5pc from his salary next year, Paddy Power is now offering 2/1 that Taoiseach Brian Cowen will do the same.

Other candidates the bookie has put forward for a drop in pay are Labour leader Eamon Gilmore (3/1), Aer Lingus chief Dermot Mannion (4/1), Pat Kenny (25/1), FAI chief John Delaney (40/1) and RTE economics editor George Lee (66/1).