Doherty calls for clarification on Creighton budget cuts statement
Sinn Fein Finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty has called on the Minister for Finance Michael Noonan to clarify ‘whether the Government is considering deeper cuts to public spending than those already agreed with the EU/IMF.’
The call comes amid speculation that the European Commission is pushing the Irish government to implement even deeper austerity measures than the projected €6 billion cuts in 2011 and €3.6 billion in 2012.
Deputy Doherty said:
“Yesterday the European Commission suggested that the Irish government should increase the level of public spending cuts beyond the savage cuts agreed under the terms of the EU/IMF austerity programme.
“Minister for State for European Affairs Lucinda Creighton is reported as saying that such a course of action could be considered.
“I am calling on the Minister for Finance Michael Noonan to clarify whether the Government is considering deeper cuts to public spending beyond than those already agreed with the EU/IMF.
“Is the Government so desperate to secure a marginal reduction in the EU loan interest rate that it is willing to further sacrifice our social and economic recovery?
“Three years of harsh austerity has done nothing to assist our economic recovery. With each round of budget cuts, unemployment has increased, social welfare expenditure has increased, tax revenues have plummeted, the deficit has increased and the level of public debt grown to unsustainable levels. Austerity simply isn’t working.
“If the Government is considering even deeper cuts for this year or next, the public has a right to know and the Minister has a duty to clarify his Government’s position.” ENDS