Sinn Féin Dublin EU candidate Lynn Boylan has slammed Fine Gael and Labour for their failure commit to an ambitious stimulus plan to get people back to work and invest in critical infrastructure to ensure all families have a roof over their head.
Speaking today from the canvass trail in Coolock, Lynn Boylan said:
“Sinn Fein’s first response to the fiscal and economic crisis in 2008 was to publish a detailed programme to retain and create jobs and ensure adequate levels of investment in public infrastructure. The human cost of government’s procyclical economic policy is families living in their cars or out of hotel rooms due to the collapse of investment by the state in social housing stock.
“Across Europe public investment remains at a very low level with Ireland faring worst. This fall in investment is at the core of the current unemployment crisis. Since 2008 gross investment in Ireland has fallen by 48 per cent, is less than half the OECD average and is the lowest amongst other peripheral Eurozone states.
“Sinn Féin has consistently called on government to significantly increase investment to stimulate public and private sector employment growth. Our 2012 jobs stimulus plan argued for an investment package of €13 billion over four years. Crucial to this investment would be funds drawn down from the European Investment Bank.
“Since Fine Gael and Labour took up office monies drawn down from the European Investment Bank have fallen which is no surprise considering the government has been committed to a procyclical austerity agenda. Government has finally begun to wake up to the need for investment but its recent announcements have been watery and do not deliver the ambitious projects now necessary to urgently tackle unemployment and deepening societal inequality.
“The European Investment Bank also needs to look at how it can increase its support to member state countries. Sinn Féin has called for the banks funding ratio to be amended for member states with unemployment levels above the EU average. We’ve also called for the annual lending capacity of the EIB to be doubled and for a special funding ratio of 75:25 to be introduced for economically weaker member states.”