Ciaran Byrne: We are the coping classes – seen as just a limitless ATM
Finance Minister Michael Noonan was right. If you can afford to have cable television, you can afford the property tax. So we got rid of the cable TV. And the phone. And the second car. And the credit card. And a bunch of other stuff.
The TV package cost €800 a year anyway. Now we have the seven free Saorview channels. The landline was another €20 a month, now replaced by communication 'freebies' such as Skype and Facetime.
In truth, like most people we've been cutting back for a long time. As paid-up members of the 'coping classes' – a typical young working couple with children – we're trying to balance shrinking incomes with the State's voracious demands.