Friday 25 May 2018

Noonan's Budgets in a nutshell: Quick rundown on what he's delivered in six years

John Downing

John Downing

Michael Noonan has completed his sixth Budget. And it was dubbed the 'Grey Vote Budget' with a little for everyone, but not enough for anyone.

Can we remember how we felt about his others? Here is a brief flashback to the Finance Minister's previous budgets:

NOONAN 1: December 6, 2011

Sackcloth and ashes as €3.8bn in tax hikes and spending cuts were unveiled. VAT was hiked by 2pc to 23pc. Moves to the EU mandatory deficit of 3pc continued with an 8.6pc  target for the coming year. He offered cold comfort that if the Eurozone could recover Ireland was “well positioned” to follow.

NOONAN 2: December 5, 2012

The austerity continued with a total €3.5bn “correction” in spending cuts and tax increases. There was a new property tax, child benefit cuts and 10c on the pint. The deficit rate for 2013 was to be 7.5pc – more than twice the EU limit.

NOONAN 3: October 15, 2013

An earlier Budget day to meet EU supervision procedures. There was a lighter than expected €2.5bn correction of taxes and cuts. Everything was targeted on EU-IMF programme exit on December 15. The deficit was to be 4.8pc – making the 3pc target look doable.

NOONAN 4: October 14, 2014

Billed as the “end of austerity” with €480m in income tax cuts most going on 1pc cut in the top rate. An increase of €5 to child benefit. With EU investigations into Apple’s tax affairs, the end of the “double-Irish” was signalled.

NOONAN 5: October 13, 2015

It happened amid rumours of an early election in November. Suddenly, Noonan was fending off accusations of excess with an economy which had grown by 6pc that year. There was €1.5bn in tax cuts and free doctor care for children under-12. NAMA was to build 20,000 housing units by 2020 to tackle the crisis.

NOONAN 6: October 11, 2016

Michael Noonan’s sixth consecutive Budget, equalled the modern record set by Charlie McCreevy in 2003. Mr Noonan’s first Budget in conjunction with Independents and Fianna Fáil supporting a minority government. Many feel it could be his last.

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