Sinn Féin Finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty has said that the revised growth and unemployment forecasts contained in today’s Medium Term Fiscal Statement “demonstrates once again that the Government’s policy of austerity isn’t working”.
The report, released by the Department of Finance has significantly revised down growth projections for 2013 and confirmed that unemployment will remain high in the coming years.
Deputy Doherty said:
“Austerity is strangling the domestic economy. It is blocking a return to growth and forcing more and more people into emigration and unemployment.
“Today’s Medium Term Fiscal Fiscal Statement demonstrates once again that the government’s policy of austerity isn’t working.
“Growth for 2013 has been revised downwards by 0.75% to 1.5%. While the Government has slightly revised upwards the projections for 2012 to 0.9% this is still lower than the 1.3% projected for 2012 outlined in last Decembers Fiscal Outlook.
“The report also confirms the Government’s expectation that unemployment will remain high, at 13% in 2015. Astonishingly this means that the Government is planning for an unemployment level of 13%.
“The reasons for all of this are very simple. Reducing government expenditure and cutting the disposable income of low and middle income people is keeping the domestic economy in recession.
“Today we had a former Deputy Director of the IMF argue in the pages of the Irish Times that ‘perpetual austerity seems destined to fail.’ We also read reports in newspapers of a Grant Thornton study suggesting that the tax burden on ordinary families could rise by as much as €3,000 in December’s budget.
“Today’s Fiscal Statement highlights once again the failure of austerity to revive the domestic economy. Yet despite all the evidence it seems that the Fine Gael and Labour look set to continue to heap the burden of the crisis on low and middle income families.
“Unless the government abandon’s this failed policy of austerity and start to seriously invest in jobs and growth then the economy will not recover and the next Fiscal Statement will again revise downwards growth projections.”