Budget should be about a Fair Recovery not the election – Doherty
Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson Pearse Doherty TD has said the upcoming Budget should be about a Fair Recovery and not about the election. Deputy Doherty was responding to speculation that extra funds might be available based on latest tax return figures. He called on the government to end the electioneering and to start dealing in budgetary facts.
Deputy Doherty said:
“The next Budget is a crucial one and should be about laying the groundwork for a Fair Recovery. That will be the focus of Sinn Fein’s fully costed alternative. I am becoming increasingly concerned that, for the government, the focus is on short term thinking and doing whatever it thinks will help their election prospects.
“In some ways, the size of the fiscal space available to the government is less important than what they do with it. From what we have heard, the government focus is on tax cuts rather than bolstering the economy through much needed public spending. The demands of the health service as we saw recently from the HSE documents are still enormous while across the board the Fiscal Council has warned that the government’s spending projections are inadequate to even stand still.
“I am calling on Ministers Noonan and Howlin to be upfront and open by stating what the budget adjustment will be and what other fiscal space they have in terms of capital spending, for example. Sinn Féin will provide an alternative which will be based on a different view - that of building a Fair Recovery that is sustainable and widespread.
“We are ready for that debate and I challenge Minister Noonan to lay out the fiscal parameters so the public can see the choices before them and to end the spinning and electioneering and deal with the facts about the budgetary space available. I am confident that this government which has been so unfair in recession has no intention of being fair in recovery.”