Friday, November 6, 2009

The dreaded budget is now only a matter of weeks away. For those of us unemployed or on low incomes it is an increasingly worrying time.

It seems that there will be cuts across the board, children’s allowance may be means tested? Unemployment assistance may be reduced? The public sector wage bill will need to be trimmed?
We all know that there is a huge deficit in the annual national accounts and some and maybe all of us will have to pay.
We may feel that these problems were not caused by the likes of you and me but unfortunately it will be up to us to foot the bill.

For me this time of year is all about survival. If I tightened my belt anymore I would suffocate, so a proposed cut in children’s allowance would be a disaster.

I know some wealthy people who use their children’s allowance payment to get their hair done.
We use ours to pay the electricity bill. I should be putting it away for my son’s future, but the here and the now is just more important.

As a family we will find it impossible to accept any further cuts to either wages or benefits

These difficult times may just allow us to think about what is really important in our lives. For too long we as a nation have been far too concerned with chasing the money, driving the brand new car, living in the large house, buying the biggest television and going on the most expensive holidays, but did this lifestyle really make us any happier?

Maybe now is the time to reassess and start chasing the truly important things in life like health, happiness, strong family and communities and friendship.
There have been times in our history when money was not all that important for most of us, and that was not that long ago either.

The budget will be released just before Christmas and I am sure that a wave of anger will consume the country at this time. Everyone will be looking at how the budget affects him or her personally. This is only a natural reaction, but I would ask that people try to look out for each other at this time. Check that friends and neighbours are ok. Speak to your families. The love and support they can give us during these difficult times can be priceless.
Lets support our communities and take extra care of the vulnerable.

The Celtic Tiger may be long gone, but the Irish spirit of care and community is still there. It may have been somewhat dormant during the boom times, but it is now up to each and every one of us to rise to the occasion.

We cannot allow the budget and all that it brings with it to destroy our enjoyment of Christmas. I may need to reduce my spending even further. Go out less. Buy cheaper presents? But it is still an occasion that I welcome and enjoy

Christmas is the “Season of Giving” Will you be giving this Festive Season?

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