party like it's 2007

Back in time: Here's what definitely WON'T be in the Budget this year

Come with us on a journey through time and space, to Budget 2007.

THE UPCOMING BUDGET, set to be announced on Tuesday, is one of the least anticipated in years.

Not because it’s likely to be particularly savage, mind – merely because we’re not expecting many surprises.

The changes to taxes and spending have been well-flagged this time around – a move brought about by the shake-up to the Dáil arithmetic caused by February’s general election, and the subsequent ‘confidence and supply’ arrangement reached between the minority government and Fianna Fáil.

An adjustment of around €1 billion is expected, and a reduction in the USC is on the cards, along with a tax break for first time buyers.

Ten years ago, if you can cast your mind back, the Budget was a very different beast…

As is tradition, let’s take our annual journey through time and space to:

BUDGET 2007 


The country’s success had been driven by the hard work of the Irish people, Finance Minister Brian Cowen said, as he began his speech – now it was time, he said, to reward that effort.

This was Cowen’s third budget, and the last before the following year’s general election.

And while the announcement was decried from the opposition benches as an attempt to buy votes, the Fianna Fáil finance minister said it represented the biggest support package for those on low incomes in the history of the State.

Here are the main points, courtesy of RTÉ’s report from Six One that night:


Additionally, Cowen promised a further reduction in the top rate of tax if the Fianna Fáil-led coalition was returned to office by the electorate.


Just days ahead of the Budget, the Government had announced it would be even more generous than initially planned, following a surge in taxes collected during November.

Overall, there was a €4.9 billion improvement in the State’s finances, compared to the target.

Cowen said he wanted to reward work in his announcement, while Taoiseach Bertie Ahern said the result was the culmination of good economic management.

brian2 RTÉ / Screengrab RTÉ / Screengrab / Screengrab

“You can’t get a leopard to change its spots,” Labour’s Joan Burton insisted on Budget Day.

When Fianna Fáil see an election around the corner their first instinct is to buy it.

joan1 RTÉ / Screengrab RTÉ / Screengrab / Screengrab

The election, the following May, saw Bertie Ahern’s party once again returned as the largest in the new Dáil. The Progressive Democrats were all but wiped out, and Fianna Fáil entered a coalition government with the Greens.

Budget 2008, reports noted, was delivered against a “challenging economic backdrop”. As the effects of the crash took hold, and following Cowen’s ascension to the top job in Irish politics, Brian Lenihan delivered “the most severe Budget in decades” (the emergency, supplementary Budget) in April 2009.

The hated USC – still with us, of course – was announced the following year, coming into effect in January of 2011.

usc Budget 2011 Budget 2011

And …

Well, we never promised the Complete History of the Last Ten Years.

We all know what happened next.

Join us (won’t you?) throughout the week for up-to-date coverage of this year’s Budget.

And if you happen to be feeling a little distressed after reliving all of the above … here’s a gif of an amusing rabbit:


Here’s another heartwarming story: Hugging photo saves dogs from being put down >

And here’s more about Budget 2017 (if you must): Budget 2017 >

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