Budget 2023

Behind the scenes of Budget 2023 with the ministers who shaped it

Paschal Donohoe and Michael McGrath detail the ‘intense discussions’ and midnight calls in the run up to this year’s budget as they worked to deal with the cost of living crisis

Paschal Donohoe, Minister for Finance and Michael McGrath, Minister for Public Expenditure: ‘I'm deeply conscious of the need to send out messages of resilience in the public finances,’ said Donhoe. Picture: Fergal Phillips

Paschal Donohoe received a phone call from Tánaiste Leo Varadkar on the night before he delivered his budget speech.

When he answered, the Minister for Finance was watching the final preparations for the printing of the budget booklets in the Department of Finance’s underground print room, located beneath the main entrance gate to Government Buildings on Merrion Street in Dublin.

Varadkar had a question about the workings of the budget that he wanted to ask.