Minister for Finance, Brian Lenihan, described the budget as, "a substantial down payment on the journey back to economic health". He added that there is every reason to have confidence in the future of the country.
Just four years earlier in December 2006 Minister for Finance, Brian Cowen, had introduced a generous budget package which he told RTÉ News was intended to reward work and ensure that workers reaped the benefits of positive public finances. It was now time for Ireland to pay for these measures.
Brian Lenihan described the budget as working off the excesses of the boom as he introduced the first instalment of the four year recovery plan. €6 Billion was to be taken out of the economy over the coming year. Cuts introduced included tax credits and bands, child benefit and social welfare. A new universal social charge replaced the income and health levies. The employee PRSI ceiling was abolished. One of the most controversial of measures was the cutting of the minimum wage by €1 per hour to €7.65. Public sector salaries were capped at a maximum of €250,000 and ministerial and Taoiseach salaries were to be reduced.
This report also includes reaction from opposition TD's Michael Noonan and Joan Burton. Noonan described this budget as, “the budget of a puppet government”, while Joan Burton emphasised the widening gap between rich and poor as a result of the budget measures. Sinn Féin’s, Pearse Doherty, comments about the fact that people on social welfare face cuts, while TDs don’t.