Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson Pearse Doherty TD has said the government’s roadmap for growth was the latest in a long line of glossy reports that promised much but delivered little.
He said the Medium Term Economic Strategy, published today, sets out business as usual but is based on economic assumptions from a government which had consistently mis-forecast growth projections.
Deputy Doherty said:
“This government is big into reports, but not into action. It’s easy to see that it paid external consultants €70,000 to advise them on this report because it is full of spin but vague on facts.
“This is the seventh set of growth assumptions from this government and if it gets it right, it will be the first time. Nothing gives me hope that they will meet these targets because they are committing to pursue the same policies which will entail continuing with austerity, continuing to be hands-off on the mortgage crisis and failing to stimulate the economy with the reserves available to the State in the NPRF and other avenues.
“For the hundreds of thousands that have been left on the dole queues from this government the message is cross your fingers and hope that you’re not one of the nearly 10% that will still be unemployed in five years’ time.
“In addition, while this is a growth plan which is supposedly about addressing recovery, it does not address how it will fix what this government and the last has destroyed over the last six years. There is talk of keeping spending low and no further tax increases but there is no plan for fixing the ailing health service which will see more cuts in the New Year, nor of reducing the tax burden for low and middle income families.
“Finally, the government still has its head in the sand when it comes to our unsustainable debt burden. The passing reference today to last year’s ‘game-changer’ shows that the government is not seriously pursuing the strategy to separate banking debt from sovereign debt. It is waiting for Europe to offer up a debt solution, but it is failing to press the issue and ensure Europe knows that the Irish people refuse to continue carrying this debt.”