'We are eating into our savings'
STEPHEN McDonnell (40) and Annemarie McGuire (31), pictured below, are both staff nurses at a busy Dublin A&E who admit they are already struggling financially.
They fear they will be pushed over the edge if the allowances paid for working nights, weekends and public holidays are slashed.
"Most of us are eating into whatever savings we have. A lot of us are on the breadline," said Stephen.
"I couldn't afford to get my own place," said his colleague Annemarie.
They both feel that nurses are being seen as an easy target for cuts by the Government.
"Nurses, guards, prison officers – everybody here is in the same boat," she added.
"Part of our work is that we have to provide 24-hour cover, Christmas Day, bank holidays, night duty.
"These allowances are a presumed part of our pay," said Stephen.
"Unfortunately they want to hit us rather than go after the bloated layer of middle management in the health service.
"We are seen as an easy target," he added.