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Squeeze away, but there won't even be pips left to squeak

Amid all the misery, at last a fleck of good news. Phil Hogan says that the new household charge, set to be introduced next January, will include exemptions for those "under pressure in terms of their mortgages".

So basically the entire country then? Phew, that's a relief. For a moment there I thought we were all going to be landed with another additional burden by a political class which still doesn't seem to understand the difficulty of keeping your head above water when you don't have guaranteed salaries, perks and pensions like they do.

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