Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee indeed had a tough job doing the balancing act between macro economic factors and interests of the masses. However, Budget 2012 has come up particularly hard-hitting for the common man. While overall prices are likely to go up, tax reliefs are not as expected. The incremental cash outflow on account of a blanket hike of 2% in Service Tax and Excise is likely to more than offset the small incremental savings from revised income tax slabs for most income brackets. It is interesting to note that the FM has completely failed to address rising prices and has instead presented an inflationary budget.