Govt faces opposition criticism over budget measures

The Government is coming under intense fire this morning during a heated debate on the budget in Dáil.

Opposition parties have been hitting out at a range of measures announced yesterday which they say will do nothing to help the most vulnerable in society.

They have also been highly critical of "indiscriminate taxes" such as the increase in motor tax, petrol price increases and a new travel tax.

Labour Party leader Eamon Gilmore said the budget meant the least well-off in Irish society were actually being hit when they should be protected from cutbacks and tax increases.

The Taoiseach Brian Cowen, however, insisted that the budget was balanced and that the various measures were unavoidable due to the deterioration in the public finances.

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