Speaking today during an Oireachtas Finance Committee presentation from the Fiscal Advisory Council, Sinn Féin Finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty said that the “Government must ignore the proposal from the Fiscal Advisory Council to increase its austerity measures by €1.9bn over the next three years.”
Deputy Doherty also said the remit of the Fiscal Advisory Council is far too narrow and takes no account of the domestic, economic, social and human impact of the fiscal policies proposed.
Deputy Doherty said:
“The Fiscal Advisory Council has proposed an additional austerity burden of €1.9bn between now and 2015. The economic, social and human impact of an extra €1.9bn in spending cuts and tax increases would be disastrous. It would further depress consumer demand and block a return to growth. It would also add an enormous burden on hundreds of thousands of people who simply have nothing more to give.
“Part of the problem is that the Fiscal Advisory Council’s remit is far too narrow. It looks primarily at the state’s compliance with the Stability and Growth Pact rules as amended by the Austerity Treaty.
“There is a need for its remit to be broadened to include the impact of its policy recommendations on the domestic economy, job creation, social infrastructure, equality and human wellbeing.
“Fiscal policy does not exist in a vacuum. The kinds of fiscal policies a government pursues play a major part in creating the society in which we all live. If we want a society based on prosperity and equality then we need to ensure that our fiscal policy decisions produce these kinds of outcomes.
“The recommendations in the latest Fiscal Advisory Council report, if implemented by this government, will retard growth, damage public services and increase inequality. On this basis I am urging the Government to ignore their advice.” ENDS