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Boom or Bust

As the Chancellor puts the finishing touches to his budget, Michael White of the Guardian recalls some of the most significant budgets of Alastair Darling's predecessors in Boom or Bust.

He begins with Denis Healey's two budgets in 1976. The first made a remarkable and unprecedented proposal of tax cuts which were conditional on wage restraint - the first time a Chancellor had made his tax plans dependent on the decisions of someone else. The second made drastic spending cuts as a condition of an IMF loan.

In part two, Michael White remembers 1981 and Geoffrey Howe's dramatic decision to slash spending and raise taxes.

In the final part, Michael White reaches 1992 and two budgets - the real one by the Conservative chancellor Norman Lamont and Labour's so called 'shadow' budget drawn up by the late John Smith. As Norman Lamont recalls the objective was to design a budget which would maximise the Tories' chances of winning an imminent general election under the leadership of John Major.



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Part one of Boom or Bust


Part two of Boom or Bust


Part three of Boom or Bust




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