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Sunday 10 December 2023 Dublin: 7°C
AP/Press Association Images US President Ronald Reagan contemplates a pint glass of Irish stout, at the bar of O'Farrells Pub in the centre of the village of Ballyporeen in 1984.
1984 State Papers

Government was worried about hiking up tax on booze in 1984 because we were so broke...

… but they did it anyway.

EVERY BUDGET THAT rolls by seems to have some form of tax increase on alcohol. In 1984, it seemed it was no different. However, Ireland was in the midst of a bad recession.

With emigration on the rise and unemployment high, the Government were concerned about the dropping revenue in alcohol consumption.

They questioned why revenue was going down, stating that the prices in Northern Ireland could have something to do with it. However, when it came down to it, it concluded that it was simply down to the recession and no one having any cash to splash on nights out in the pub.

Tax increase 

A Budget statement dated 25 January 1984, released under the 30 year rule, shows that the Government said the “scope for [tax] increases is severely limited”.

However, despite acknowledging that times were tough for people, it stated “a modest increase can still be applied” adding 2p per pint, 8p per bottle of wine and 10p on a pack of cigarettes.


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