Ministers at odds on economic policy – Ó Snodaigh
Sinn Féin spokesperson for social protection, Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD, has called on the Taoiseach to clarify the apparent contradiction in economic policy between Minister Noonan and Minister Burton.
Deputy Ó Snodaigh was speaking today after an article, co-authored by Minister Joan Burton, was published in a number of papers across the EU challenging the austerity dogma.
“Yesterday the newspapers reported that Michael Noonan plans to bring a ‘stringent new economic plan’ to cabinet, which promises further austerity from 2014 to 2020.
“Just as people were hoping that an exit from the Troika programme would mean some light at the end of the austerity tunnel, their hopes appear to have been cruelly dashed by the Minister for Finance.
“Worryingly we were told that the Departments of Health and Social Protection must identify spending cuts of 3 per cent a year in 2015 and 2016.
“While it appears that the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform was in the loop on this new austerity plan, the same does not appear to be the case with Minister Joan Burton.
“This morning, in a number of newspapers across the EU, an article was published challenging the austerity dogma as ‘a recipe for long-lasting recession and disintegration.’
“Among the prominent personalities who co-authored this article was Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton.
“It appears that not everyone around the cabinet table shares Minister Noonan and Minister Howlin’s enthusiasm for imposing austerity on ordinary people.
“I call on the Taoiseach to clarify whether he knew in advance that Minister Burton had co-authored this stinging critique of the EU policy of austerity which he is so energetically imposed here?
“Further, to ask whether the Taoiseach shares the Minister for Social Protections argument that austerity is a ‘recipe for long-lasting recession and disintegration’?
“It appears that the government cabinet is pulling in two very different directions, so I call on the Taoiseach to clarify for us which of these approaches is government policy. Minister Noonan’s ‘stringent new economic plan’ or Minister Burton’s focus on ‘people’s needs’.”