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'Back to the Future' budget fails the Irish people - Carthy

11 October, 2016 - by Matt Carthy MEP

Sinn Fein MEP Matt Carthy has warned today’s budget risks causing a new economic crisis in the Irish state, while failing the Irish people entirely on housing and health.

Carthy, MEP for Midlands North-West and a member of the European Parliament’s Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee, said:

“This Budget is based on a dangerous and unsustainable combination of tax cuts, an over-reliance on corporation tax receipts, and policies that will directly contribute to a new housing bubble and an inevitable crash.

“At the same time, the Government has abandoned all pretence of trying to solve the two most significant crises being experienced by the Irish people today, in housing and health. The spending commitments in this Budget are woefully inadequate.

“It is unbelievable at a time when governments across Europe are defying the EU’s fiscal compact, Minister Noonan commits to actually go beyond it in terms of fiscal austerity.

“Since the Brexit vote we’ve seen the European Commission’s highly political decision to avoid punishing Portugal and Spain for not meeting deficit targets under the Stability and Growth Pact. This should be the beginning of the end for the SGP straitjacket, and good riddance.

“There was absolutely no analysis provided today by the Minister on just how vulnerable and unsustainable this model of over-reliance on corporation tax is in a volatile global economy and with major changes in the international corporate tax regime on the way.

“The tax cuts proposed by the Government will result in a loss of revenue to the State of €5.6bn by 2021.

“Just as disturbingly, the Budget is full of policies that will contribute to the new housing bubble which is already developing. 

"The Government’s reckless policies of recent years - including selling off property to vulture funds through NAMA and refusing to introduce rent certainty - will now be exacerbated by so-called help-to-buy scheme for first-time buyers of new builds.

“We already have nearly a quarter of a million houses sitting empty across this state from the last housing bubble. Looser credit will only cause rising prices in the already overheated property market, and worsen the housing and homelessness crisis we are currently experiencing.

“This is a 'Back to the Future' Budget based on a dangerous policy mix that puts short-term cynicism ahead of responsible and sustainable economic policy.”


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