Memorable Budgets

Memorable Budgets
Memorable Budgets

None of us are looking forward to the looming Budget 2013. Here at RTÉ Archives we have taken a look back at 14 previous budgets. From Charles Haughey's, "We are living way beyond our means"  to the giveaway budgets of the boom years and back to the austerity of the present .

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  • In 1970, An Taoiseach Jack Lynch presents the budget without Minister for Finance, Charles J. Haughey, who is unavailable due to a horse riding accident.
  • 1976, Minister of Finance Richie Ryan introduces what is regarded as the toughest budget since the Second World War. RTÉ's Halls Pictorial Weekly takes a satirical look at the Minister for Hardship.
  • In January 1980, two weeks before the budget announcement, An Taoiseach Charles J. Haughey addresses the nation on RTÉ Television stating that "We are living way beyond our means".
  • Budget 1982 fails to get passed largely due to the introduction fo a tax on children's shoes, leading to a collapse of the Fine Gael/Labour coalition and a general election.
  • The 1984 budget is characterised by VAT hikes on cigarettes and alcohol and regarded by opposition leaders as a "dreary non-event".
  • Budget 1987, Minister for Finance Ray MacSharry introduces a pay freeze and recruitment embargo in the public sector. Kieran Mulvey of ASTI sums up his feelings on the buget by saying, "...it's very hard to take skin off a skeleton".
  • 1991 sees the first televised budget speech in Dáil Eireann. Television cameras become part and parcel of budget day.
  • 1992 sees Minister for Finance, Bertie Ahern, deliver his first budget.
  • The 1995 Rainbow Government budget is marred by information leaks and the resignation of Minister for Finance Phil Hogan.
  • The year 2000 sees Minister for Finance, Charlie McCreevy, deliver what many describe as the greatest giveaway budget in the history of the state.
  • In 2004, decentralisation plans completely overshadow any budget announcements.
  • Brian Cowen's 2007 budget is viewed by back-benchers as generous but is viewed with scepticism by opposition parties.
  • 2011 is the year of the final Fianna Fáil budget. After years of give-away budgets, the country is in financial ruin and austerity has arrived.
  • 2012 marks the most austere budget in decades. Budget 2012 also sees a new format for budget announcements over a two day period.
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