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Ireland budget: Your views

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The measures include bringing VAT down to 21% from 21.5%

Ireland's government has revealed one of the most severe budgets in the country's history.

Measures include pay cuts for public sector workers. Taoiseach Brian Cowan will also have his pay reduced by 20%.

The Irish deficit currently stands at 12% of GDP. European Union (EU) rules state that countries are expected to keep their budget shortfalls below 3% of GDP.

BBC News website readers have sent their thoughts.

POSITIVE REACTION

It was a courageous and necessary budget that underpins Ireland's economic recovery. We are the only country in the world that would reduce the price of drink in a recession!
Pat, Dublin

About time. This budget will herald the start of the correction in the Irish economy. We will all take a financial hit in restoring Ireland to a competitive progressive country. Now we have a plan.
Michael O'Sullivan, Cork

I would like to applaud Mr Lenihan for this budget. The cuts were fair, everyone will feel pain. However, his decisions today should help us start moving. Now we need a series of innovative plans to boost job creation by private investors. Public sector people should be grateful for having a job with the generous perks and lesser working hours and stop complaining.
Colm Murtagh, Crumlin, Dublin

While this government was partly responsible for the current economic mess we find ourselves in, this tough budget reflects the 'real-economic' and is the only way to a real recovery. The private sector is well ahead of the public sector in dealing with and adapting to the harsh economic realities.
Steven Nestor, Dublin

This budget is exactly what was needed for us - the EU are already using this as an example to Greece and other countries in trouble to pull themselves out of recession. People in Ireland have much more confidence in economic recovery after today. It's a hard budget, but I'd take a 50% pay cut to save my country and ensure my children won't bear the burden of my debt
Amy, Ireland

I am Scottish but have lived in Ireland for the past three years. I think this budget is fair and is definitely a step in the right direction for a country which is crippled by debt and held ransom by the unions. I know the public sector workers won't be happy but people in the private sector have had to endure much higher pay cuts, reduced working hours and redundancy.
Kirsty, Dublin

It looks like another year of sacrifice is ahead, but with the recession still ongoing, this was something to be expected. Lowering the VAT by 0.5% will certainly lower the prices in the supermarket, so that people might be able to find groceries a little cheaper.
Eros, Dublin

NEGATIVE REACTION

I and my wife work in the public service. We have already lost 17% individually thus far, we are now facing another 5% pay cut. My salary is gross 23,000 euros as is my wife's. I could not afford a house in Dublin and bought instead in Laois, 1 hour from Dublin, ticket cost is 2,500 euros per year. My house value has dropped by 45%, we can't afford to travel, pay our mortgage, our energy efficient house with gas will be levied with a carbon tax, our travel cost has increased. Next year we will be facing a property tax and water taxes. Our net pay together is less than 29,000 euros, at this stage we face the prospect of losing everything that we have struggled to achieve.
Joe, Laois

The new budget just reveals the mismanagement of Irish finances. While the current economic troubles are accompanied by a global downturn, the Irish disaster was looming in the future regardless of world events. The money that has been cut from the budget has only reduced Ireland's already poor social infrastructure to a laughable international standard.
Joe, Maynooth, Kildare

Most of the budget I agree with, but the dole cuts for young people I find staggering and designed to attack an entire sector of society which we should encourage to stay rather than emigrate and to contribute to the country in the long run. It is short-sighted in the extreme.
Tomas Kenny, Galway

No-one denies the level of debt we have to handle as a country and I welcome cuts in social welfare, even being unemployed myself. However no effort is apparent to stimulate job growth and small businesses will see no real assistance in exploring new opportunities while the poor are seeing cuts that will likely lead to social problems which will themselves necessitate unforeseen spending to solve. Even friends of mine who are currently employed in highly skilled jobs are discussing moving elsewhere since they feel that they will fare better in the long term in Canada or in Australia.
Phil Lee, Dublin

VAT cuts by 0.5% is very disappointing. Given the huge lack of consumer confidence such a small cut (still way above UK rates) is unlikely to make any difference except to add costs for businesses. Further, it is highly unlikely that retail prices will be reduced to reflect this tiny change. The cuts to the highest public sector salaries - 15% cut for those on more than 200,000 euros - are a good start. I'd have preferred to see them go further and introduce caps on salaries for all public sector jobs.
Gerard Begley, Cratloe, Clare



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