Part 1 of Budget 2012 was ushered in yesterday and it was every bit as sober as predicted with Minister for Public Expenditure & Reform Brendan Howlin unveiling a whopping €1.4 billion of cuts across a range of services including health, education and social welfare.
Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams was less than impressed with yesterday’s announcement and berated the Government for getting Irish people to pay for ‘the rock and roll lifestyles of former Taoisigh’ in a short broadcast in last night’s extended RTE news bulletin.
This afternoon, we have Part 2 to look forward to (getting over with) when Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan will sharpen the hatchet and let us know how the Government is going to set about raising the €1.6 billion required in additional tax revenue.
We have been told about most of the changes but in true Budget style, there are sure to be a few other surprises springing out of the briefcase. As we know, income tax is not going to change but some sceptics have said the cuts across everything else and VAT increase will more than make up for leaving income tax untouched.
We’re hoping that the public outcry in response to a series of leaks about planned measures for Budget 2012, might have made the Government lessen the depth of the cuts.
Part 2 of Budget 2012 will be at 3.45pm this afternoon. Keep an eye on our Twitter feed as we’ll be following all the developments minute by minute.