As Budget leak after Budget leak emerges, the past 10 days have been reminiscent of the mid-80s when Alan Dukes was Finance Minister, a time of VAT and income tax increases.
The economy went into a nose dive, with the Fine Gael/Labour coalition of the time divided; with Dick Spring keen to keep spending levels maintained, which in turn led to political paralysis with Garret FitzGerald.
The then Minister Dukes, a in a bid to bridge the gap between both coalition leaders, attempted to improve the public finances by increasing taxation. And that did not work.