Spare a thought for Mary and Sean. Both work full-time – not great paying jobs but together they pull in 60K with overtime. They need it. They bought a house three years ago, paying over the odds, but with a one-year old child they had to leave their one-bed flat. Their second child came along last year. Difficult, yes; but they were making a fist of it.
That is, until Fianna Fail got worked up. Since October, the Destiny Soldiers have really got stuck in to Mary and Sean. They took nearly €2,000 off the couple in levies. Then they smashed and grabbed another €2,000 by abolishing the Early Childcare Supplement. Mary and Sean didn’t like this but, sure don’t we all have to share the pain (that’s what RTE and the papers tell them everyday).
Now their bank has jacked up their mortgage interest. The Destiny Soldiers won’t interfere even though they practically own the bank. Then, they read that Colm McCarthy’s committee wants to take another €720 off their Child Benefit. And they’re bracing themselves for the promised tax hikes in the December budget. Mary’s job is more insecure by the day and Sean’s employer has just unilaterally slashed the occupational pension scheme. They’re hanging on by their finger tips.
But now – they read that a property tax will be knocking on the front door.
In their collective nightmare they glimpse their future: Mary, unkempt, sits at the window all day muttering, the kids run around in unchanged soiled clothes, while Sean takes up drink, beating the cat whenever he’s not too drunk to catch it.
This is a family on the edge.