Hair Shirt

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Hair Shirt

An informal term for an austerity measure. The term derives from shirts made of animal hair that religious figures have worn as a sign of penance. Austerity measures are adopted to make up for (or even to do penance for) excessive government debt.
References in periodicals archive ?
Although he feels sorry for Giggsy, he was only too happy to hand over the hair-shirt.
It is an interrogation without answers, even as the hair-shirt ritual offers answers without the necessary interrogation.
30) The hair-shirt ritual, qua ritual, fails because it excludes the patient, whose roles as injured party and as human agent of forgiveness are usurped by the erring physician's superior.
Not so long ago the idea of Bach in 'period' performance would evoke precious, hair-shirt readings of inverse communicative returns; nothing could be further from the truth in last night's fresh, lively presentations from the personable and youthful Bach Players.
Tatchell is one of those invaluable hair-shirt consciences all societies need.
The hair-shirt is a trifle itchy, but I am getting used to it.
The hair-shirt stuff, the Stafford Cripps agenda, that is not the way to get Britain motoring again" London Mayor Boris Johnson, below, takes issue with the Prime Minister and Chancellor George Osborne "I have always been in favour of suicide.
With a predicted EUR6billion shortfall in taxes, tough-talking Brian Lenihan said "difficult decisions" would have to be taken - fuelling fears of hair-shirt measures.
The Chameleon Arts Baroque Orchestra added its lively contribution, though some inconsistencies of tuning and tone-quality made one occasionally fear that the bad old days of hair-shirt period performance might be set to return.
This is not because of some new, hair-shirt approach to life but because wife Rebecca produced daughter Rose just before Christmas.
I blame all the party leaders for failing to protect the Members of the Parliament, because they were trying to vie with one another to see who could wear the worst hair-shirt, the most painful hair-shirt.
Mr Cowen yesterday revealed Ireland's exchequer figures for the first nine months of this year prompting speculation of a hair-shirt budget in December.