We knew it was going to be an austere, savage and crippling budget, forcing us to pay for the financial sins of the rogue bankers and builders who landed this country in hock for generations to come.
Typical of Fianna Fáil, most of the cuts were well flagged before the Minister for Finance, Brian Lenihan, got to his feet in the Dáil to deliver his budget last Tuesday afternoon.
At least we now know where we stand and we must face several years of hardship before the country gets back into the black.
It is unfortunate the less well paid, carers, the disabled and middle-income families must carry the can as the budget cuts are implemented.
While it would have been expected to increase the cost of cigarettes and alcohol, doing so would have further increased the illegal importation of these products on the black market.
The €6 billion budget puts the greatest burden on those least able to bear it. The reduction in the payments to the Taoiseach and government ministers was expected but did not go far enough.
Taxpayers have been hit hard through a reduction of 10 per cent in the tax credits and bands, a new consolidated social charge of seven per cent and the abolition of the PRSI ceiling.
The reduction is stamp duty is welcome, as is the retention of the corporation tax rate.
The fall-out from the budget will be thrown in the faces of Fianna Fáil candidates when they set out on the canvass in the New Year.
It will be a bitter pill to swallow for the politicians but an even bitterer one for those who will be counting the cost of the cuts for years to come.
The national books have to be balanced over the next four years but not at the expense of the lower paid, the unemployed, the disadvantaged and those already on the breadline.
What a new administration can do to reverse this budget from hell is, as of now, uncertain.
But a new leadership is warranted and will be put in place once the general election is over.
The incoming Taoiseach and his Finance Minister must revisit the implications of the December 7 cuts.
More will have to be trimmed from the better off so the burden is not solely carried by less well off.
Share the pain was the call from Brian Lenihan but the lower paid will have to grin and bear it for longer and in greater discomfort.