Budget was wretched and anything but fair

“We have taken bold , decisive and innovative steps to manage our way through this crisis. In all our actions, our concern has been to protect jobs, to provide a functioning banking system and to return this economy to the path of sustainable growth.

We have sought to do all of this in a manner that is fair and that protects the most vulnerable."

Paul Gogarty's tantrum with Emmet Stagg

The interruptions of Labour TD Emmet Stagg in the Dail earlier today riled Green Party TD Paul Gogarty into the "unparliamentary" outburst: "Fuck you Deputy Stagg, Fuck you." Gogarty had been explaining during the Dáil debate on the social welfare cuts why he believed cuts to vulnerable people were necessary in Budget 2010.  He said that a third tax band for high earners may be introduced next year.

Hear the language below, and the remix.

Budget 2010: Key Points of Lenihan's Speech

Below, a summarised version of Brian Lenihan's Budget speech, with links to Politico articles on his proposals.

A Cheann Comhairle,

The Government over the past 18 months has made budgetary adjustments of more than €8 billion for this year. Had we not done so, the deficit would have ballooned towards 20 per cent of GDP - a level at which the very financial survival of this country would have been at risk. Because of these decisive actions, we are now in a position to stabilise the deficit.

Budget 2010: The reaction in quotes

“These are savage cuts and very little on the other side of the balance sheet, very little in terms of job creation or stimulation of the economy” - Pat Rabitte, Labour, Spokesperson on Justice.

“By cutting jobseeker’s allowance to a paltry level for young people, the Government is basically asking them to return to their parents’ home to live. This is unrealistic for most and will put many young people at a real risk of homelessness” - Aideen Hayden, Chairperson of Threshold.

Minister Lenihan's VAT reduction is too little, too late

In March of this year, Brian Lenihan said "If I have one act of contrition, I should not have interfered with the VAT rates. It was a mistake and the wrong thing to do. We have lost €700 million in revenue going to the North."

Addressing his comments to the annual lunch of the Sutton-Howth Chamber of Commerce in Dublin, the Minister conceded that the increase in the VAT rate in the October 2008 budget had “sent out the wrong signals”. His unexpected concession came just weeks after Tanaiste Mary Coughlan admitted that the VAT increase had been a "total disaster".

Opposition derides Budget 2010's "failure of vision"

Opposition parties were highly critical of Minister of Finance Brian Linehan's Budget today, citing a lack of ambition as the main failure of his proposals. In a Budget typified by cuts to lower earners and welfare recipients, Lenihan claimed that “the worst is over” in relation to the economic downturn, but he did not institute any significant investment programmes in an effort to stimulate the economy.

Historic challenge to Ireland’s abortion laws brought to Europe

Today, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) Grand Chamber, which consists of 17 judges, will hear a controversial landmark case on abortion, the outcome of which will have significant implications, both for the Irish state and Europe. The case involves a challenge to Ireland's ban on abortion, lodged with the ECtHR in August 2005 by three women resident in Ireland.

Brian Lenihan's Budget Speech

When I presented the Supplementary Budget to this House last April, I said we could work our way through this period of severe economic distress. Today, I can report that notwithstanding the difficulties of the last eight months, we are now on the road to econonuc recovery.

Prevailing government mindset hits poor hardest

The combination of the billions being handed to the banks, allied to the mounting unemployment plus cuts in social welfare and public service salaries probably will represent the largest transfer of wealth and income from society to a financial and corporate elite that has occurred here in centuries, certainly in generations, and it will change the character of this society for generations to come.