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ten years on

So, here's what definitely WON'T be in Budget 2015...

We all partied… right?

FINANCE MINISTER MICHAEL Noonan has promised a fairly neutral Budget this week. As we’re all well aware, the initial plan had been to bring in another €2 billion in spending cuts and tax increases — so there’s a little less hysteria and hoopla surrounding the whole occasion, compared to the last few years.

Noonan and his colleagues — most notably, Leo Varadkar — have signaled a number of times recently that a package of tax cuts may be on the cards this Tuesday.

There’s been the typical round of kite-flying by ministers and their operatives in the last few weeks too, but for a variety of reasons — not least The John McNulty Affair — the stories got a more muted reception than usual this time out.

At this juncture, it’s by no means clear what form this mooted tax measure will take, but Enda Kenny said this week that the Budget would be the “first step” towards lowering the top income tax rate of 52 per cent.

And while public expenditure minister Brendan Howlin has told his Cabinet colleagues there’ll be an extra €600 million in spending to go around — he’s effectively ordered them them to trim down their pre-Christmas wish-lists.

There’s no question it’s an improved situation after years of austerity Budgets — but, that said, the current scenario is light years away from what was happening in the Department of Finance a decade ago…


“The past a foreign country,” the famous quote goes…

They do things differently there.




Here’s what Brian Cowen had to announce to the nation when he rose to give his maiden Budget speech in December 2004…

  • A 9 per cent increase in spending (€3.7 billion). 
  • An increase in the personal tax credit to take everyone on minimum wage out of the tax net entirely. 
  • An extra €12 a week for pensioners, and and additional €14 for others receiving social welfare. 
  • An extra €10 in child benefit per month for the first two children, and €12 for each child after that. 
  • €540 million extra for the Department of Education. 

The ’2005′ package was the first of four Budgets delivered by Cowen before he replaced Bertie Ahern as Taoiseach, and the late Brian Lenihan took over the Finance hotseat.

His ’2006′ announcement included an extra €1.1 billion in social welfare increases, while the pre-election ’2007′ package allowed for a reduction in the top rate of tax to 41 per cent, on top of more social welfare rises.

We all know what happened later, of course… So we’ll make as swift an exit as possible from this trip down memory lane before we all feel the need to start reaching for the smelling salts.

The next two Budgets, delivered in quick succession, were amongst the worst the country has ever experienced.

The one after that saw public servants’ pay cut by between 5 and 15 per cent, as Lenihan announced a package of €4 billion in savings…

On the bright side, it did provide us with this immortal Youtube clip.

accountforposting / YouTube


We all partied.

Didn’t we?

Read So, here’s what definitely won’t be in Budget 2014…

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