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Government economic policies would make the Tories blush – Cullinane

23 June, 2016 - by David Cullinane TD


Sinn Féin spokesperson on Public Expenditure & Reform, David Cullinane TD, criticised the government’s Summer Economic Statement for the serious underinvestment in public services outlined. Deputy Cullinane stressed the need for increased capital investment to address the many serious issues that are facing Irish society today.

Deputy Cullinane said:

“The choices set out in this summer economic statement fail the Irish people. Minister, ‘new politics’ has to mean new policies.  It has to be about changing direction. It has to mean a departure from the old.

“We can choose to give tax cuts to the wealthy or we can invest in public services. We can choose to give tax breaks to the top 14 percent or we can choose to take people off hospital trolleys. We can choose to build houses and sustainable communities in the here and now or pretend that we are putting money away for a rainy day.

“Can I present you Minister with the figures from the Stability Programme Update which underpin the Summer Economic Statement. From 2017 to 2021 total expenditure will drop by 4 percent from 30.7 to 26.6 per cent of GDP. Total revenue during the same period will drop by almost one percent, from 30.3 to 29.4 percent. This is during a period where the government predicts GDP growth will run at an average of 3.4 percent.

“When you factor in the figures we can see that as the economy grows, the Government is raising less and spending less.

“This Fine Gael/Independent government – propped up by Fianna Fáil – is actively shrinking the State while issuing press releases that it is building for the future. These are policies that would make the Tory party blush.

“Minister, capital investment is one of the key issues – indeed possibly the key issue – that we are faced with today. When we build houses, when we increase capacity in our health service, when we lower class sizes, we are investing in the future. Minister, that is the big difference between building an economy and building a society.

“This is why, after nine years of chronic under-investment in these areas – after the bank bailout of Fianna Fáil and the unequal austerity measures of Fine Gael and Labour,  that we have in Ireland today a chorus of diverse voices – IBEC, ICTU, the EU Commission all calling for the same thing: public investment in social and economic infrastructure.

“We can choose to give tax cuts to the wealthy or we can invest in public services.

We can choose to give tax breaks to the top 14 percent or we can choose to take people off hospital trolleys. We can choose to build houses and sustainable communities in the here and now or pretend that we are putting money away for a rainy day.

“Sinn Féin have put forward costed, fair and deliverable alternatives. I am positive about Ireland’s future, but only if we make the right choices.”

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