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Every year when the budget is introduced, its merits and drawbacks are brought into focus.
After seven years of austerity budgets, where we have seen the most vulnerable being disproportionally targeted, a similar trend has been adopted in this recent budget, despite a lot of people not noticing it.
This budget tried to give the impression that people are magically getting something back but the reality is only a tiny portion of people’s own money is being given back. In many instances it is merely an insult as is the case of the €3 to pensioners.
It is to be expected that this Government would claim credit for the rebalancing of the state’s finances but in reality they were merely following the austerity template agreed to by the previous government under the supervision of a foreign entity that our sovereignty was scandalously given away to, a template that they themselves criticised before assuming office.
This rebalancing process was not a major feat because the government were prepared to indiscriminately take a hardnosed attitude in imposing inequitable cuts and stealth taxes that disproportionately affected the less fortunate in society without regard to the social consequences of those most severely affected.
There is no doubt that this last budget was an election budget, crafted in a superficial way to mainly benefit certain groups who would be the most likely to vote them back into power.
They are hoping that a sufficient number of people will adopt an attitude of “I’m alright Jack” and disregard all those whose interests have been left behind and largely ignored in this budget.
This year we had an equality referendum where people of all political persuasions voted overwhelmly to reverse injustice against a minority of our citizens.
Is it then not too much to ask the people to take their former held position on social equality one step further and put it into practice and put their own self-interest in the back burner when it comes to voting?
It is only then that we will see whether we have the concept of equality at heart or not.
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