The Hangover begins…

Irish people Southerners could be forgiven for waking up with a sore hangover this morning. With tax hikes across the board, child benefits cut, and departmental budgets slashed, the days of bumper budgets are well and truly over. The collective hangover after an 18 year binge has been a long time coming, but did they really have to hit fags and wine too?

Full text of Brian Lenihan’s speech to the Dáil here. Budget main points here.

The Examiner calls it the most savage budget in a quarter of a century. Richard Bruton of FG says the budget will turn recession into depression.

But has Brian Lenihan gone too far, or not far enough?

This morning’s Indo attacks ‘vague’ Lenihan. The Irish Times says that by resorting to borrowing and postponing hard decisions, Mr Lenihan has increased the chances of an equally harsh budget next year. Kevin Myers implores us to spend our way out of the crisis.

View from abroad: the London Times covers Lenihan’s gloomy budget, the FT [subs req] mentions Ireland’s plans to dump EU fiscal rules on budget deficits, and Forbes reports that the 12.5% Corporation Tax will stay and “continue to be a central part of Ireland’s economic brand”.