Fiscal Advisory Council not living in real world – Doherty
Speaking in response to the first fiscal assessment by the Irish Fiscal Advisory Council, Sinn Féin finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty has said that the Fiscal Advisory Council’s proposals to cut a further €4 billion from the domestic economy over the next four years suggests that they are not living in the real word.
Deputy Doherty said:
“The government’s recently established Fiscal Advisory Council has released its first report today. While some of the report has merit, its proposal to cut a further €4 billion from the domestic economy over the next four years in addition to the €11.8 billion already agreed by the government suggests that they are not living in the real word.
“There is simply no social or economic rational for adopting such a policy. The Council says it would bring the State’s budget deficit down to 1% by 2015. However what the report does not say is what the cost to ordinary people would be if such a course of action was pursued.
“You don’t need a PhD in economics to predict the human cost of an extra €4 billion in cuts over four years. Unemployment and emigration would continue to rise. Vital front line services would continue to be dismantled, deepening the crisis in our health and education systems. More staff would be lost in emergency services.
“In turn mortgage arrears and household debt would continue to rise, incomes would continue to fall and consumer spending would decline leading to further job losses and long term domestic recession.
“When he established the Council in July Minister Noonan told us that it would provide an independent assessment of the government’s budgetary plans. Unfortunately the Minister failed to appoint a single expert from outside the economic establishment. None of these individuals has a record of alternative thinking or critical engagement.
“At the time Sinn Féin warned that this lack of independence would result in another publically funded think tank issuing reports to justify government policy. In fact, if today’s report is anything to go by, what we have got is much worse. A body that proactively works to outdo the government in an attempt to take the bad look off government policy.”