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.
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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.
"The idea that our top scientists are engaged in an elaborate global conspiracy to impose 'hair-shirt policies' on the public is nothing less than comic-book nonsense" - Tory MP Tim Yeo, chairman of the environmental audit committee, on climate change deniers.
Yesterday, work and pensions spokesman Steve Webb turned on Mr Clegg, telling him to ditch hair-shirt policies such as means-testing child benefit.
EVERY sector of life in Ireland braced itself in advance of what was signalled to be a 'hair-shirt' Budget on Wednesday.
"Our experience is that allergies can be conquered without the need to adopt the sort of 'hair-shirt' approach that necessitates living on a limited range of foods," she says.
More than that, there is tinge of hair-shirt socialism about these proposals which are clearly designed to clobber families living in what the Government would classify as better-off areas.
(24) And because what these surgeons describe as the "'hair-shirt' ritual" of "self-criticism, confession, and forgiveness" is enacted before one's peers during the Mortality and Morbidity Conference, the ritual "also serves to reintegrate offenders into the group" and to reaffirm group norms: "Since in time all make errors in techniques, all are obliged in time to go before the group and humble themselves.
Ken is living proof of the fact that you don't have to wear a hair-shirt to be a socialist.
If he passes that test then it's on the blower to Umbro to see whether they can design an extra-large hair-shirt Scotland top.
We wear their hair-shirt skins and read their furious minds.
The hair-shirt Premier is commendably determined to measure them all for one of his economy suits.