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Irish economy back in recession: Doherty

22 March, 2012 - by Pearse Doherty TD

Irish economy back in recession: Doherty
Speaking in response to the publication of the CSO Quarterly National Accounts Sinn Féin finance spokesperson, Pearse Doherty TD said that “the economy is now back in recession having experienced a drop in GDP for two consecutive quarters.” During Order of Business in the Dáil today Deputy Doherty asked the government if it was “going to revise their growth forecasts for 2012 for the third time.”
Deputy Doherty said:
“The CSO Quarterly National Accounts for the end of 2011 confirm that the economy is now officially back in recession. The figures show that in the fourth quarter of 2011 the GDP shrank by 0.2%, having already fallen by 1.9% in the third quarter of last year.
“This is very bad news. On budget day the government told us that GDP in 2011 would grow by 1% and GNP would grow by 0.4%. Today’s news shows that they got this terribly wrong.
“GDP has underperformed by 0.3% and more dramatically GNP has fallen by 2.9% in relation to the government’s budget day targets.
“It means that despite all the talk of an export-led recovery by the government last year, we are now officially back in recession.
“Throughout last year Sinn Féin argued that the government’s policies of austerity were smothering domestic demand and hurting the economy. We argued that without real investment in jobs there would be no growth.
“It gives me no pleasure to say that Sinn Féin was right. While overall GDP grew by 0.7% in 2011, the domestic economy shrank by 2.5%.
“All of this demonstrates that the government’s claims that the economy has turned a corner are simply untrue. Their policy of cuts and tax hikes are not only hurting people, they are blocking a return to growth.
“With the wider European economy also experiencing a slowdown and government set to impose another round of cuts inspired by the Austerity Treaty, the immediate prospects for jobs and growth appear bleak.
“It is time for the government to change direction. There is now an urgent need for the state to step in and stimulate demand in the economy using funds from the National Pension Reserve Fund. This is the only way to get people back to work and the economy back on track.”

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