Budget reaction: 'I feel like a feudal peasant. I can take no more'
THE READERS: What you said on irishtimes.com this weekCitizens feel disenfranchised, powerless and ignored, but history shows there is a breaking point
Wednesday was Budget day, when the Government announced a range of measures that will affect almost every adult in the State.
They included a property tax, reduced child benefit, extended PRSI and cuts in entitlements for elderly people.There were rises in excise duty on alcohol and cigarettes, increased motor taxes, a higher third-level student-registration charge and an increase in Dirt, the tax on savings.
Two of the more controversial measures were a cut to the respite grant that is provided to carers each year and to the treatment of maternity benefit as taxable income from July 1st next.
Below is a selection of the reader comments on our website.
Having deliberately ignored the Budget as it evolved live yesterday, I met a friend last night who had done the same thing. Both of us had been news junkies in the past and would not have missed a syllable of the speeches. I feel like a medieval or feudal peasant; they had no power over how great lords and kings decided how the world was run, so they just got on with their hard lives until they could bear no more, then they revolted.
Nowadays I feel disenfranchised and powerless as my middle-of-the-road opinions are ignored and decisions I disagree with are imposed one upon another with bugger all I can do about it. So I choose to ignore the farcical democracy we have become until like the small men of long ago I can take no more.
My opinion and my vote are irrelevant. I voted for leaders and got followers. The only courage they have is our courage, the ability to bear hardship while they live very well, like great lords and kings indeed. HughByrne
I don’t understand this attack on lower- and middle-income wage earners, families and the vulnerable. While I expected this a bit from FG, Labour rolling happily along behind will have a lasting legacy. How can any right-minded true believing leftist party stand behind such an attack on so many of its core support? Freakystare
They should cut Dáil allowances to 10 per cent, not by 10 per cent if they’re serious about this, but they’re not. The Minister for Finance can attack our PRSI but he can’t touch a bank man’s overpay? That’s upside down. mcsherryp
The tax take yesterday was very poor. Growth in our economy is unlikely. The possibility of reducing spending further without cutting social welfare and public sector pay is remote? We must scrap the Croke Park Agreement, not extend it. McNamaraJoe
Taoiseach Enda Kenny said the Budget was about jobs, opportunities and businesses with an emphasis on the small and medium enterprises sector.
I run a small enterprise and don’t see any basis for Enda’s statement. There’s certainly nothing there for me. In fact the PRSI changes would make me less likely to take on new staff. I guess it’s lucky the property tax is self assessed as I’d say my house, like every other Irish house, is worth about a tenner. GregoryWilmot
How can this Government justify cutting the carers’ respite grant? Carers get so little as it is to look after the most vulnerable in society. They should be ashamed as a Government for not supporting carers who have little time off from a full-time responsibility that is both stressful and 24/7. AvrilRyan