James Downey: While Noonan is drawing blood, he must also inject some hope
MICHAEL Noonan tells us he detects less "fear" in the public mood in the approach to the Budget than was the case a year ago. Perhaps we have been preoccupied with other weighty matters. But we have plenty to fear, both in the specific provisions of the Budget and in the wider context.
This will be the sixth Budget since the beginning of the financial crisis. All have inflicted pain on the public, especially on the vulnerable. Essentially, this one will be no different.
Leaks suggest a cut in child benefit and in the privileges, such as free travel, enjoyed by pensioners. We already knew about the property tax. No doubt there will as usual be some unexpected measures not likely to please us.