The Irish government has presented its toughest budget in the country’s history.
The deeply unpopular austerity plan currently before the Irish parliament aims to ensure quick access to a massive 85-billion-euro EU and IMF bailout.
Getting it passed remains far from certain, however, with the government relying on independent support.
The new budget aims to cut government spending by 15 billion euros during the next four years. The minimum wage and public sector jobs, salaries and pensions are all in the latest austerity drive’s firing line.
The tough cutbacks and higher taxes aim to shrink a soaring deficit estimated to top more than 30 percent this year.
After enduring two and half years of cuts, and with Christmas on the horizon, it has left many Irish people wondering how they will cope.