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Former IMF chief acknowledges its policies were wrong – government must change tack – Doherty

11 April, 2013 - by Pearse Doherty TD

Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson Pearse Doherty TD, responding to the interview of Ashoka Mody, former Chief of Mission for the IMF in Ireland where he said the policies inflicted on Ireland had been wrong, said he welcomed the acknowledgement that Sinn Féin policies had been right. He said it was not too late for the Government to implement them.

Doherty said:

“When Sinn Féin criticised the policy of not burning the bondholders and imposing austerity as a response to the crisis, we were ridiculed and dismissed by Fine Gael, Labour and Fianna Fáil – three parties who insisted that no bondholder would lose a penny and the Irish people would pay for it in taxes and cuts for years to come.

“Over the course of the last few years we have seen Europe and the IMF start to reconsider that position and last June we had the announcement that sovereign debt should not be carrying banking debt.

“In the last few months we have seen Europe do an about turn on how the collapse of private banks is handled. Now the bondholders are allowed to be burned.

“Today we have the IMF former Mission Chief saying the policies the Troika inflicted in Ireland were wrong. This is a belated but very welcome acknowledgment that the Sinn Féin party has been correct in its assessment of how the crisis should have been handled.

“Bondholders should have been burnt and the deficit should have been reduced through growth, not austerity, along with fair tax measures and eliminating public spending waste.

“The only people who still haven’t come to this conclusion are unfortunately the ones running the country and the party that caused the mess – Fine Gael, Labour and Fianna Fáil.

“On the day when it is confirmed these policies are wrong, the government chooses to announce it is cutting the confirmation and communion grant for the lowest earners in society.

“It is not too late to change course, but this government needs to get itself on the right page now, before anymore damage is done. The opportunity arises now as we enter into the planning phase of Budget 2014. The government can make this a less severe budget.”


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