Sinn Féin Finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty TD has said that while the growth in GNP was to be welcomed, the failure of the Government to deliver growth in GDP was a real concern for future economic prospects.
Responding to the latest statistics from the CSO on the economy, Deputy Doherty said:
“Today’s figures bring real mixed news. On the one hand, we’re back borrowing in the bond markets at sustainable rates – on the other we are carrying unsustainable debt. Then there are statistics showing that last year GNP, the relevant growth figure for the domestic economy, is up, whereas GDP, the figure to which the Government is chained for targets, is down.
“The growth in GNP is to be welcomed. However, the contraction in GDP is a huge concern. Government has signed us up to a number of targets, including deficit adjustment, which rely on GDP growth.
“The Government talks a good talk on growth, in the same way they talk a good talk on stimulus and using the EIB. But the facts remain – they predicted a 0.2% growth in 2013 GDP, but achieved a 0.3% contraction. They have accessed the EIB less in the last three years than it was accessed in the three years previous to that. And the legacy of their ‘jobs plans’ is continuing high unemployment, shredded capital spend and emigration.
“The Government is clapping itself on the back today for being able to borrow more money, but these figures indicate a worrying trend –a shrinking economy, a Government wedded to austerity and an uncertain future. Sinn Féin has advocated a path that pursues growth from the start and we will continue to present this alternative to Government, and to the people of Ireland.”