Friday 24 November 2017

Times may be hard, but we have been here before


At the end of 1975, the future of the country looked grim; the population was about to suffer the toughest budget in decades. A period of prosperity had been brought to a shuddering halt by an oil crisis, and the Government was having to take drastic measures to put the country back on an even keel.

While Brian Lenihan and Brian Cowen are the butt of criticisms now, at the end of 1975, the Fine Gael Taoiseach Liam Cosgrave and his finance minister Richie Ryan faced relentless pressure.

While taxpayers had to face similar problems to those today, there were added difficulties. Nowadays people fret about deflation and falling wages. In the 1970s, householders struggled to cope with the rocketing cost of living. The inflation rate for 1974 had been 17pc; and for 1975 it was a mind-boggling 21pc.

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