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Gilded few

• We all know the country is broke and Finance Minister Michael Noonan has some difficult decisions to make but, as an 84-year-old pensioner and widow, I would ask him to look elsewhere to make his cuts.

My pension, like that of all my colleagues outside of the golden circle of ex-bankers and former politicians, is a little over €240 a week and frankly, the majority of us cannot live on less.

The Government says it is committed to forging a new Ireland that is built on fairness, but is it fair to target the elderly who, after years of work and paying taxes, are being asked to forgo the various allowances which help to make life a little easier in our "golden years".

In particular minister, hands off our bus passes!

Anne Spearman
Julianstown, Co Meath

• In the past week, it has emerged that NAMA developers are still collectively receiving salaries totalling €15.5m; bankers are still collecting huge salaries in the region of €500,000; and our Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, collected an award for European of the Year, on the people's behalf.

In his acceptance speech Mr Kenny stated, in relation to the Irish people, "words do not exist to describe their courage, their dignity, their generosity in how they have faced and are now facing-down such difficulties".

Well, I have a few other words Mr Kenny could have used to describe us in his speech, like fools, idiots, clowns, downtrodden and stupid -- I could go on and on.

That could explain why we are still taking this austerity so meekly. So I, for one, will not be paying a penny more, as I watch the smaller fish getting devoured by the sharks.

Catherine Dolan
Tralee, Co Kerry

Irish Independent