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Government fiscal outlook is anti-jobs and anti-growth – Doherty

4 November, 2011


Sinn Féin’s finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty, responding to the government’s medium term fiscal outlook released today, said the plan was anti-jobs and anti-growth, and would not instil confidence in the public.

Doherty said the slashing of €750 million from the capital budget would mean the loss of 7,500 badly needed jobs next year and that the government stating that there will still be 390,000 people on the dole in 2015 is not good enough.

He added that he had no faith in the government's projections as next year's have already been revised repeatedly.

Doherty said:

“This is an anti-jobs, anti-growth plan that will not instil confidence in the public as the government hopes it might. It is little more than Fianna Fáil policies repackaged, which begs the question - what was the point of the general election if Fine Gael and Labour had no policies of their own to implement? This government plans to source its adjustments, like the last government, from spending cuts in frontline services and revenue from regressive flat taxes.

“Slashing €750 million from the capital budget will mean a loss of 7,500 badly needed jobs next year. Further capital cuts in future years will stymie job and economic growth further. Stating that there will be 390,000 people still on the dole in 2015 is not good enough.

“I have no faith in these proposals in terms of their numerical targets. Already, this government has repeatedly revised downwards next year's growth projections. We cannot trust government figures as can be seen from their €3.6 billion accounting error; their continual massaging of figures; and the fact they appear to be placing blind hope in global growth to lift our economy. With a double dip imminent, relying on exports for recovery without making the necessary growth interventions in the domestic economy, is economic madness.

“The adjustment due to this year's budget has gone from €3.6 billion to €3.8 billion in the blink of an eye. If the government continues with its deflationary, economy contraction policies, that €3.8 billion will very quickly get swallowed up and we will be facing a harsher than expected budget next December. This has been the trend for the last few years.

“Last year, we were told a €9.8 billion adjustment was needed. In April, the government added €2 billion to this. Today we're told it's €600 million more. Deflationary policies simply don’t work and are making the situation worse for ordinary people. It is time to change direction.”

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