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Sinn Féin critical of ESRI's accelerated austerity policy

1 September, 2011


Sinn Féin TD Peadar Tóibín has slammed the ESRI's accelerated austerity policy.

Deputy Tóibín said that ESRI was recommending a more rightwing approach to the economy than even the government, paving the way for Minister Noonan to hurt working people even more with the next budget.

Deputy Tóibín said:

“Let's be clear - the ESRI has got economic forecasting hopelessly and dangerously wrong in the years preceding this deep recession.

“The Irish economy has already gone through some of the harshest austerity cuts ever seen in a western economy, leading to the crash.

“Nearly half a million are unemployed, up to 50,000 a year are emigrating and hundreds of thousands of people are being forced into poverty. The economy is cut to the bone. Any further cuts will have severe and long lasting effects.

“The health, the education and the living standards of a whole generation are being severely attacked. All this is happening on the basis of an ideological bias within this government and organisations such as the ERSI. The people making these recommendations are insulated from the disastrous effects of their policy pronouncements by their high salaries.

“Our government’s refusal to make the rich pay is out of step internationally and is the real problem. Progressive taxes must be marginally increased on those earning over €100,000 instead of the proliferation of flat taxes that attack the poor in society.

“To get the domestic economy growing there must be a focus on stimulating and investing in the economy. The national debt of the last generation was paid for through economic growth.

“The ESRI suggests that the money saved by a reduced interest rate, allowed by the EU after Greece forced renegotiation, should be used to write down the deficit faster.

“This ignores the fact that no matter how quickly we write down the domestic deficit, we are still carrying a debt burden level that is crippling the state's finances because we have taken on all of the private banking debts.

“Private debt must also be restructured. It cannot be paid for by strangling the economy, closing hospital services or reducing educational services.”

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