Government spin puts a shine on hugely unambitious capital spend programme
Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson Pearse Doherty has described the government’s capital spending plan as very unambitious.
Deputy Doherty said there is very little additional year on year spend included in the plan and that in 2020 we will still have the second lowest capital spend per GDP in Europe.
He also said there is a huge question mark about the cut of €39million to the environment budget next year.
Speaking today Deputy Doherty said;
“It is truly amazing what the government can get away with when its PR machine kicks into overdrive.
“Having looked at the government’s plan this afternoon it is clear that there is very little additional year on year spend included and that most of the measures included have simply been repackaged and re-announced.
“There will only be an €250million additional spend next year and even less additional the year after.
“In 2020 we will still have the second lowest capital spend in Europe per GDP. That is how unambitious this plan actually is. When population growth is taken into account it is clear that this level off additional funding is the very least required simply to cater for the additional services needed.
“Fine Gael and Labour cut capital spending dramatically during its term of office and, under this plan, it will be 2020 before capital spending will return to the same level it was at when this government took office in 2011.
“So what the government is doing with this plan is simply restoring the cuts that it has made during its term of office. And it will take them five years to do that. So they are now asking the people to give them a mandate to fix the problem that they created themselves.
“The environment budget, 80% of which is spent on housing, is actually to be cut by €39million next year so that looks to be a cut in housing spend at a time when we are facing and unprecedented crisis.
“Yet the government has once again managed to pull off a PR coup and spin a yarn that this is a highly ambitious plan.
“Let’s be clear, this plan is the very least that we should expect from any government coming to office after the next election.”