Capital investment must be increased - Pearse Doherty TD
Sinn Féin spokesperson on Finance, Pearse Doherty TD, has warned of over relying on GDP figures to gauge economic performance saying they do not give a good reflection of where we are as a country as the economy is artificially boosted by multinational corporations.
Deputy Doherty has said that we must increase capital investment and redistribute the wealth in our economy.
Deputy Doherty said:
“On paper the economy is doing very well. However, behind those figures there are issues that are unique to Ireland. We know from economists who study the performance of the economy that GDP is not a good reflection of where we are as a country.
“Looking at the headline figures in terms of investment one would form the view that investment in Ireland is growing but when you get into the detail in that regard, you discover that the basis for this is that a small number of multinationals have relocated intellectual property activity into Ireland, which has bumped up the figures.
“If this activity, which has little real impact on economic growth, is stripped out, it shows a decline of investment in this country. There is a major problem here, in that while some multinational corporations provide much needed employment here and some tax receipts, this skews the figures in terms of our overall GDP, which also then causes major problems when we are considering how the resources of the economy should be divvied up or indeed the sustainability of our debt.
“One of the major challenges the country faces is the consequences of nearly a decade of underfunding of capital infrastructure. We have the second lowest level of capital investment in Europe. That is not acceptable or sustainable. The face of this underinvestment can be seen in our flood defences, our children educated in prefabs, raw sewage flowing into our rivers and sea and lack of phone and broadband coverage.
“Sinn Féin is the party with a plan for economic recovery not based on fleeting corporation tax receipts or tax breaks for the wealthy, but based on public investment in our roads, our schools our hospitals and our workforce. We are committed to building a sustainable economy and equal society.”