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Budget 2011: the war of words

The war is not just being fought on the economic front…Budget 2011 has also turned out to be a battle of wit.

Today’s Budget is our first step in ensuring that we can get back firmly on our own feet – Finance Minister Brian Lenihan

Before this Budget, the Taoiseach’s salary was 13 times the minimum wage. After the Budget, it will be 14 times – Michael Noonan Fine Gael finance spokesman

It is economic sabotage…Your government has failed the people of Ireland. You have given away our sovereignty in much the same way your colleagues gave away our natural resources in the 80s – Pearse Doherty, Sinn Fein finance spokesman

Fianna Fáil has once again, chosen to take the route of the conservative consensus, asking those on middle and low incomes to bear the brunt of the adjustment, while privileged elites such as the tax exiles did not even merit a mention in Mr Lenihan’s speech – Labour leader Eamon Gilmore

Minister what have you got against third children? The fourth child won’t be cut, the fifth child won’t be cut, the 16th child won’t be cut…did some third child beat you up coming home from school as a young fella? – Michael Noonan

The winners in today’s budget are the banks who hoovered up our money as well as developers and property tycoons. The losers are a family with three children who will lose €40 a month in child benefit, people on disability benefit who will lose €8 a week and carers who will also lose €8 a week – Joan Burton

The most shameful day in the history of the State – socialist MEP Joe Higgins

This is the first day of Eurocolonialism – protestor Jos Bradel (77)

We did come to a position where our standard of living was one of the highest in the world – Brian Lenihan

Despite some adverse reaction in my constituency to this decision, I feel duty-bound to put the country’s interests first – Michael Lowry, independent TD

You’re an illusionist; you’ve been creating illusions all day -  Michael Noonan to Brian Lenihan