Opposition: People will pay 'high price' in Budget

Opposition: People will pay 'high price' in Budget

The Opposition has lashed out at the Taoiseach in the Dáil saying the people would suffer from this afternoon's Budget just so the Government could bail out the banks.

Labour leader Eamon Gilmore said: "The reason that billions are going to be taken out of people's pockets this afternoon is the same reason - and the reason is that you and your party, and your friends developers and your friends in the bankers have ruined this economy.

"We are going to hear the high price that the people of this country is going to have to pay for having Fianna Fáil in government for far too long."

The Finance Minister Brian Lenihan has said: "This is the most difficult budget and we will enact it today."

Cuts in public service pay, cuts in social welfare, cuts in services, a carbon tax, reducing the price of drink and a car scrappage scheme are all expected this afternoon.

Mr Lenihan was at first reluctant to approach the media at a photocall in Government Buildings.

Brian Lenihan had signalled overnight this may be the end of the really tough budgets - but this morning he signalled harsh medicine could lie in the years ahead too.

Mr Lenihan said: "What I said was that this was the most difficult budget and we will enact this budget today.

"The Government has made it clear, we have to secure €4bn in savings - we're going to do that, but we're going to ensure that's done in as fair a way as possible."

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