Sinn Féin Response to Government Budget Announcement
Responding to the government’s announcement that
it is to bring forward the 2009 Budget Sinn Féin Economic Spokesperson
Arthur Morgan TD warned against Fianna Fáil returning to its failed economic
policies of the 1980s.
The Louth TD said:
“Today’s announcement by Finance Minister Brian Lenihan that the government is to bring forward the 2009 Budget evidences the depth of the current public finance crisis.
“Minister Lenihan’s claim that the country’s unprecedented economic circumstances are solely due to international factors and a contracting construction sector does not inspire confidence in this governments ability to get Ireland’s economy out of the hole they themselves dug.
“To date the government has offered no strategy or indeed vision as to how it intends to address the rapidly rising unemployment figures and the staggering shortfall in tax revenue which is now likely to reach €5billion by the end of the year. The failure to act, particular over the last twelve months, to curb growing unemployment has contributed to the sharp decline in tax revenues.
"In addition income and other taxes were cut to levels which were not sustainable causing the Exchequer to become precariously over dependent on revenue related to construction and consumption. This was done in spite of repeated warning about the dangers inherent in such a policy. This is the reason that this state is now experiencing a spectacular collapse in public finances. Despite what the Government would have us believe no other state has experienced such an unparalleled collapse in tax revenues.
“It is clear the government are out of their depth and all indications are that they intend returning to a failed strategy of the 1980s of putting the burden on families and small businesses already struggling to cope with the cost of living. Cutbacks in public spending which undermine frontline services will not be tolerated.
“Government needs to introduce a strategy to stabilise the economy and public finances in the short whilst looking to stimulate its growth for the medium term. In the longer term it must advance a fundamental reorientation of the economy. Job creation and enterprise must become a priority and the low paid and unemployed must not be forced to carry the can for this governments inability to manage the public purse.” ENDS