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No Consistency, Coherency or Credibility to Irish National Accounts – Cullinane

12 July, 2016 - by David Cullinane TD

Sinn Féin TD and spokesperson for Public Expenditure and Reform David Cullinane has said today that the report that Ireland experienced growth of 26 percent last year is nothing short of a joke that makes a mockery of our national accounts and fiscal expenditure rules.

Deputy Cullinane said:

“We will hear a lot about Ireland as a small open economy over the next few days, as if this is something unique in today’s world. The reality is that most countries in the world are small and open, but very, very few of them have the type of GDP swings such as that recorded in today’s release from the CSO.

“Ireland is unique, not because it is small and open, but because the government allows the state to be used as a tax avoidance conduit for multinationals and aircraft leasing offices.

“The distortionary effect of these flows of capital and accountancy tricks means that there is no consistency, coherency or credibility to the national account figures that are supposed to serve as the bedrock for future fiscal planning and expenditure.

“We have the Taoiseach writing to the EU asking for room on fiscal rules while at the same time his government produces national accounts so flexible they would give a contortionist backache.

“In May, I asked the Minister for Finance about the effects of aircraft leasing on GDP only to be told that it was ‘entirely GDP neutral’.

“Now, six weeks later, we are looking at the greatest growth in Irish GDP ever, mostly down to the distortionary effects of this sector on the national accounts.

“The government has to act on this. We cannot continue to have future planning based on such obese accountancy fictions.” 

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