Context is everything. In normal times, a government announcement that it was rolling out an immediate tax cut that would cut annual motorist costs by around €250 and reduce the price of a tank of fuel by at least €10 would be universally fine welcomed.
If such an announcement came the same week that a €200 rebate on home energy costs was given the go-ahead, then officials could expect days, if not weeks, or even months to enjoy the glow of light. a grateful audience.
But these are anything but normal times and the response to the measures has been muted at best. Instead of cheering the news, most people will have wondered: is that it?
It is not a lack of gratitude but rather an acute awareness of what is happening in the world that will have fueled such a response.
Although just under €500 will be returned to consumers in the coming months, they know they will lose a lot more due to wild hikes in the price of fuel, electricity and gas.
Most of us will be around €2,000 worse off in 2022 due to higher energy costs.
While that would be a bitter enough financial pill for most people to swallow at the best of times, energy price hikes come at the worst times.
General inflation has reached levels not seen in this country for more than 20 years and there are growing fears that the Russian invasion of Ukraine will drive up food prices faster and higher than the most pessimistic scenarios wouldn’t have contemplated it even at this time last month.
And the grimmest of realities is that things may get worse before they get better. They just wonder how bad things could get.