Minister for Public Expenditure Brendan Howlin has said that it is very difficult to be a Labour Minister during austerity, but his party has defended the most vulnerable "with some very great success".
Finance Minister Michael Noonan and Brendan Howlin told the Dáil yesterday how they plan to make a €3.5bn adjustment in the Budget for 2013.
Minister Howlin said that Labour knew the situation facing them when they agreed to join the Coalition with Fine Gael.
"It's very difficult to be a Labour Minister in a time of unprecedented austerity," he said.
We debated that 18 months ago before we went into Government, and we felt that our presence in the Government would be to defend the most vulnerable and we've tried our very best to do that - I think with some very great success."