Government has to ease up on austerity - Doherty
Sinn Fein finance spokesperson, Pearse Doherty TD, responding to Minister for Finance Michael Noonan's statement today that he has no room to lessen the adjustment in this year's budget, said that the government has no option but to ease up on austerity.
"This government is trying to stand on both sides of the fence. On the one hand, Michael Noonan tells us he did a great deal on the promissory notes, to the benefit for the state this year of €1 billion, and that the lengthening of loan maturities has given the state room to breathe over the next number of years. On the other hand, he sits at a press conference today and says that he has no scope to make the budget cuts any less this year and he discounts the savings of the promissory note.
"This government has to ease up on austerity. It has no choice. Since this government came to power 187,000 people have emigrated. Unemployment is at over 14%. Consistent poverty and at risk of poverty numbers have grown. The mortgage crisis has mushroomed. The domestic economy is on the floor and we're officially back in recession.
"For Michael Noonan to come out and say that despite positive savings that he's announced, he has to make the full austerity adjustment this year, is just farcical. Either the minister doesn't care about the impact austerity is having on the economy and society or he has overplayed his hand in terms of savings he has achieved from the promissory note arrangement. More worryingly, is he predicting a continued lack of growth in the economy and realising the adjustment this year has to be bigger just to stay on target?
"The budget's in October. The austerity choices of FG/Labour and FF to date have just damaged the economy. More austerity will damage it further. The minister needs to commit to using the promissory note savings and making this budget less austere.”