Sinn Féin finance spokesperson, Pearse Doherty TD, has said that Finance Minister Michael Noonan is planning to inflict more austerity than necessary to reach Troika targets. During questioning this evening in the Dáil Minister Noonan said his target for next year’s deficit is “in the high 4s” lower than the 5.1% Troika target.
Deputy Doherty said:
“Despite the mutterings we have heard from the Labour Party it is clear Minister Noonan is determined to not only meet but surpass the Troika’s austerity targets. This means hundreds of millions extra in cuts and taxes than necessary.
“Sinn Fein will be proposing a more sensible adjustment which reduces the tax burden on ordinary families, protect services and invests in jobs.
“I am extremely disappointed by Minister Noonan’s comments. This government has used the Troika as a scapegoat for their cuts but today Minister Noonan has clearly signalled that he will go beyond the Troika target and impose extra cuts and taxes.
“For the last three years the government has reduced its growth forecast for 2013. Each budget has shrunk the potential for growth, but now Minister Noonan has stated his intention to step up this failing policy.
“Minister Noonan’s comments today are slap down to the Labour Party and has exposed Gilmore’s demand to go no further than the Troika targets. It is clearly Noonan’s way, not Gilmore’s way.”