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Snippet Contents:

When a country comes out of a recession, there are economic wounds which cause suffering for many families and individuals. However, there are also social wounds, which are twice as deep and twice as divisive. This budget actually serves to aggravate those social wounds. It might heal the economic wounds for some people on higher incomes, who will be a little better off, but it will exacerbate the social wounds. The budgets for this year and next should have seen the allocation of resources focused on healing some of those festering social wounds. It is not surprising that people are dissatisfied with all the political parties. As they see it, we are not looking after ordinary people. We all are aware of the view that, when it comes to politicians, it is essentially a case of "A plague on all their houses." This is not confined to my party or the Minister of State's party; it is across the board.
What is lacking in the budget is a social conscience. It may be the case that the Government intends to take a calculated gamble that people will vote not with their conscience but according to their pockets. Perhaps some will do so, but that is too clinical for me and it is not the way to go about rebuilding our society. People certainly do want to see planning for a recovery, not just minor tweaks here and there. Even though there are some good things in the budget, including a small increase in child benefit, it is really an example of old-style politics. There is no vision and no social conscience, simply gimmicks and a few bob given out here and there. The only thing that was not done was to increase the price of the pint, although cigarettes were hit.