New cost-of-living measures from the Government have seen 'palpable anger' from the squeezed middle, who get nothing from the State.
That's according to Newstalk presenter Pat Kenny, who was responding to the latest Government cost-of-living supports – which include further social welfare and child benefit payments.
During an interview with Finance Minister Michael McGrath, Pat said this has provoked others.
"The airwaves were abuzz yesterday with the so-called squeezed middle - the people who get up early in the morning, to quote the Taoiseach," Pat said.
"[They] work for everything, get nothing for nothing from the State.
"There was palpable anger... from listeners saying, 'What's in it for me? Nothing'.
"'I'd be better off throwing myself on the mercy of the State, putting myself on a housing list with all the promises of social housing to come in the months and years ahead - I'll get HAP in the meantime.
"'Why should I bother getting up early in the morning and working for a living, when there's a whole cohort of people who don't?'" he added.
'€800 million for tax reductions'
Minister McGrath said it may feel this way to people, but it's not the case.
"In approaching the decisions we had to make in recent days, I was faced with a situation where a whole range of tax measures - tax reductions - were due to expire at the end of February," he said.
"In effect, I have had to come up with €800 million to extend those tax reductions.
"So, it makes people feel like they're not getting anything new, but if I hadn't brought forward that money and made those recommendations to Government, this day next week you would see an increase in a litre of petrol of 23c and an increase in a litre of diesel of 18c."
'That costs real money'
Put to him that people who benefit from these cuts will lose them later in the year, Minister McGrath said it costs a lot of money to keep the status quo.
"The truth is it costs hundreds of millions of euro to make sure that it gets no worse for them," he said.
"All of these tax reductions were due to expire at the end of February.
"They were temporary, they were emergency cost-of-living measures - and we have to continue to fund them, so that costs real money," he added.
Listen back to the full interview below: