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Budget is an insult to our people

by Jimmy Rhatigan

Budget 2024 will be remembered as the inauspicious event when Government delivered the ultimate insult to those who helped to build our country.

It is a box in the mouth for our elderly in particular, pensioners who have contributed so much to our public coffers over the years and continue to be proud and respected citizens of our State following a lifetime of hard work and paying taxes.

A hike in the Old Age Pension of €12 is preposterous, akin to giving a child two cents to buy sweets in a local shop.

It is acknowledged by men and women who work with seniors, particularly those living alone and perhaps depending totally on their pensions that the paltry offering is merely a drop in the ocean and will do nothing to improve the lot of those who do not deserve such horrible disrespect at a time when so many are struggling to make ends meet.

The bottom line is that doting grans and granddads, regardless of whether or not they can afford it, would be delighted to give loving grandsons and granddaughters at least a €20 gift at First Communion or Confirmation times.

We accept that the amount of the gift from the heart is not the key in this case but that an elderly person with a meagre allowance would deliver with love, in marked contrast to the sop thrown to our seniors in their twilight years is the difference between love and indifference, lack of common decency

It will not be surprising if the damp squib Budget will be the signal to the end of the line for this Government.

The terrible trinity of Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and Green will have contributed to its own downfall as whoever came up with the overall plan for the big day in the Dáil did a brilliant job of sending out a message that the Government would prefer if it were not re-elected as politicians don’t give a tuppenny fcuk about what we think of them.

The latter is not meant as a cynical throwaway remark but reality is that the Budget is a non-event that may have been designed to please everyone but ended up pleasing no one.

The Budget is a case of well-heeled public servants paid from the public purse sitting down and planning the future for those who live in the real world where reality is struggling from week to week for so many.

Perhaps the Government’s mask slipped as one would have expected a Government Robin Hood Budget thereby courting favour for the status quo in a forthcoming General Election?

Ironically, what was delivered or perhaps escaped is a Scrooge-like effort that may prove to be the rock on which the present crew in power perishes and opens the door for Sinn Féin to get the reins of power.

Whatever way the cookie crumbles, Karma may dictate that Government will implode as it has done to our people exactly what it would not like to be returned at the ballot box; that is to give us the two fingers denying us our real wants and needs and brutally delivering a message to us to like it or lump it.

Roll on the opportunity for us to return the compliment. Whether or not Sinn Féin brings stability and fair play remains to be seen.

A Coalition Government has just dirtied its bib yet again. It is up to voters to make sure that any of the parties involved should never be given control again unless they clean up its acts dramatically.     

In God we trust; we cannot say the same for our Government.     

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