05: 1982 : VAT On Children's Shoes
Collapse of the Fine Gael/Labour coalition government.
When the 1982 budget failed to get passed in the Dáil, the Fine Gael/Labour coalition government collapsed and a general election was called. The failure of the controversial budget was largely due to opposition to the introduction of a tax on children’s shoes.
This controversy served to highlight the poor working relationship that the Taoiseach Garrett FitzGerald and finance minister, John Bruton, had with leader of the labour coalition party Dick Spring and led to the ultimate demise of their partnership.
Fianna Fáil took leadership of the country following the election in February 1982. However, this leadership was short-lived and a second election in November of the same year saw the reform of the Fine Gael/Labour coalition.
The accompanying image is from the 'Today Tonight - Election Debate' presented by Brian Farrell (Centre). Charles Haughey, Fianna Fail Party Leader (Left) shakes hands with Garret Fitzgerald, Fine Gael Party Leader (Right)