\"Protesters

Protesters outside government buildings

Four-year plan is a one way route to the Stone Age

\"Protesters

Protesters outside government buildings

Opposition party leader, Enda Kenny, has received confirmation from the European Commission, that the new incoming government set to be elected in the New Year,will not be bound by individual proposals in the four-year plan.

The Fine Gale leader added that it would be possible for a new government to re-negotiate a new plan. The party plans to publish their budgetary strategy next week.

Fine Gael Finance Spokesperson Michael Noonan said that once the IMF and EU had agreed banking plans, the key figures in his party's plan would change.

Labour Party Finance Spokesperson Joan Burton described the Governments four year plan as the bill for 13 years of what she called “Fianna Fáil mismanagement” of the economy.

She added that the plan lacked a strategy for growth and expressed concern that pensioners' payments will be reduced.

Sinn Féin's Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin said this was a plan for recession, not for recovery.

He called on the Government to put the budget on hold and call an election, so the people could have their say.

Meanwhile SIPTU General President Jack O'Connor called the plan a road map to the Stone Age and a declaration of war on low income earners.

He said the plan was an intensification of measures that have already failed.

The IMPACT trade union has called for a massive turnout at ICTU's national rally this upcoming Saturday to demonstrate support for an alternative plan.

Positive feedback to the Government's plan came from employer's group IBEC who said that it recognized the importance of a growth stategy for the Irish economy.

IBEC added that it was vital for a pro-enterprise budget to be passed allowing Ireland to move forward.

The Construction Industry Federation (CIF) has estimated that over 50,000 jobs will be lost as a result of cutting capital investment.

The plan which opts to cap the artist's tax exemption at $40,000 has been criticized by Visual Artists Ireland saying it jeopardizes artists ability to survive.

Age Action claims Ireland's older generation who are on low incomes will be hardest hit by the measures.

It added that the plan offered no commitment to safeguarding the state pension saying the proposed series of measures “will hurt the poorest and most vulnerable of older people”.

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