Government incompetent and untrustworthy on economy – Morgan
Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson Arthur Morgan TD has accused the Government, and Brian Cowen in particular, of consistently lying to the Irish people when they claim that they were not warned of the dangers inherent in their economic approach over the last decade. Deputy Morgan said Sinn Féin regularly and consistently warned the Government that the reliance on property and consumption taxes could not be sustained and that the tax base needed to be broadened.
“The government, and Brian Cowen in particular, are lying when they say nobody warned of the dangers inherent in the economic approach that they were pursuing over the last decade.
“Sinn Féin repeatedly tackled government Ministers regarding their failure to take any measures to stop the escalation of house prices. We questioned government Ministers regarding the development of a property bubble and we regularly and consistently warned the Government that the reliance on property and consumption taxes could not be sustained and that the tax base needed to be broadened.
“We called for the ending of tax breaks which were fuelling the property bubble and for the introduction of a tax on second homes to curb growing house prices which were seeing investor’s price first time buyers out of the market. We opposed the cutting of capital gains tax on the basis that it would fuel the property bubble and make it more profitable to speculate in property than to run a business.
“Sinn Féin opposed proposals by Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and Labour in advance of the 2007 election to cut taxes on the basis that taxes had already been cut to unsustainable levels and we opposed proposals to cut PRSI on the same basis.
“Any examination of Sinn Féin’s record in the Dáil from 2002 – 2007 in particular will verify these facts. All of our TD’s are on record raising these points on numerous occasions.
“Fianna Fáil is telling bare faced lies to get themselves through the next election. In advance of the 2007 election they told the electorate that the economy was fine, that it was based on solid foundations when it is clear that this simply could not be the case. Today they are lying to the public when they say that nobody was warning of the pending economic crisis – they do this to hide their own culpability in the crisis we are facing. They continue to lie to the public about the implications of NAMA.
“Unfortunately, rather than consider or even listen to our views, we were described as economic illiterates and disregarded. We now see the consequences of that attitude in the extent of the economic recession. The fact is that Fianna Fáil has neither the mandate nor the moral authority to implement NAMA, the McCarthy report or the Commission on Taxation report. They cannot be trusted, nor do they have the competency, to steer this economy in the right direction and a general election should be called immediately.” ENDS