‘This is not a hair-shirt Budget by any means,” is the analysis of Minister for Communications, Climate and Environment, Richard Bruton.
The Minister defended the lack of social welfare increases in Budget 2020 saying the Government had to put itself in a position to deal with Brexit, saying to do otherwise would have failed people who depend on the State.
“We are on the way to curing a lot of the problems after a lost decade,” he told RTÉ radio’s Morning Ireland.
“This is the time that we have to face this massive challenge.”
If the Minister for Finance had not invested in new schools, social hosing and hospitals he would be asked questions about not facing that challenge, said Mr Bruton.
The Budget’s measures to combat a no-deal Brexit were important and had to be in place so they could be implemented from Day 1, he added.
The trebling of retro-fitting allowances and the doubling in relation to electric cars were all means to help families make the changes necessary, he said.
He acknowledged that some families will be in a difficult situation, but the Budget was a balanced package “offering different interventions” he said. The aim was to help find other ways to ease the burden.
He claimed that 22% of families will be fully insulated against the carbon price.