Cowen's so-called budget to increase taxes is yet another nail in the coffin of Ireland's rapidly decreasing finances. Not only do we remain one of the worst impacted financially by the crisis, Cowen's ham fisted 1980s style cutback and tax policies strive only to weaken the economy further as belts are tightened, people spend less (having less) and therefore even more businesses go to the wall.
Every other country in Europe, never mind half the world is pushing "stimulous" packages, not shutdown packages, which is effectively what the neo-facist party which masquerades as FF is currently doing. All while still remaining to pay one of the highest rates of social welfare in Europe, never mind the Eurozone. The only answer right now is to drop replacement rates so that people currently earning 300 a week no longer get a nice surprise when they lose their job only to discover they are actually better off, and the consequent shock for others who may get a lower paid job than the one they lost, only to discover to their horror they would actually be better off on welfare.
Until the government learns this, and learns to try to stimulate business rather than close down the economy, things will continue to rapidly worsen.