Sinn Féin Deputy Leader Mary Lou McDonald TD, responding to the ESRI report released today said the institute’s continued flawed and ideologically loaded analysis is contributing nothing to the debate around the state's potential recovery.
Deputy McDonald said the ESRI could clearly see no connection between its continued cuts mantra and its own statements that the economy will continue to contract.
Deputy McDonald said:
“For five years, since the beginning of this crisis, the commentary around how we get out of it has been heavily one sided and focussed on cutbacks, reducing public services and hurting low and middle income families.
“The ESRI has been part of the band wagon that continues to push the austerity agenda in face of all the facts that show austerity is lengthening the crisis and irreparably damaging the economy. So far this year we have seen 40,000 people emigrate, something which the ESRI and Government parties seem to see as acceptable collateral damage of their cuts policy.
“The ESRI report today says the Government must continue to make cuts, and then goes onto say the economy is bouncing along the bottom and will continue to contract. It either does not see or chooses not to see a connection here. It says the cuts must be made regardless of any banking debt deal. This of course is the same ESRI that said in 2010 that the banking debt was manageable.
“The ESRI is contributing nothing to this debate and will continue to contribute nothing if it does not stand back and take an objective view of the Irish economy. €25 billion has come out in budget adjustments since 2008. In 2012 we still have a €13 billion deficit, debt to GDP over 100%, 460,000 people on the live register, hundreds of businesses closing each year, thousands emigrating, a flat-lining GDP, a domestic economy on the floor – and yet nobody in the ESRI or Government thinks that warrants a change of policy direction.
“This report today is a waste of paper.”