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Minister Donohoe Refuses to Outline Secured Funding for New Pay Deal – Cullinane

10 February, 2017 - by David Cullinane TD


Sinn Féin TD and spokesperson for Public Expenditure and Reform David Cullinane today criticised Minister Pascal Donohoe for the lack of secured funding around his decision to move forward Lansdowne Road payments to 1 April.

Deputy Cullinane said:

“All of Sinn Féin's alternative budgets are fully costed. We account for every income and expenditure decision we make. In our most recent alternative budget we were able to show it is possible to invest in public services, tackle equal work for equal pay and still balance the books.

“In an answer to a parliamentary question I received today, Minister Donohoe quite openly states that his Government overspent by €500m in Budget 2017. This was mainly through tax cuts that Sinn Féin, along with virtually all experts both from the Left and Right, said were unaffordable at this stage. 

“I also asked the Minister how he intended to fund the forwarding of payments due under the Lansdowne Road Agreement to 1 April. 

“He refused to give me an answer, referring me instead to his bluster and paper-waving in the Dáil on 26 January.

“Sinn Fein believes in equal work for equal pay. That is why we began the process of addressing this issue in our alternative budget. We believe in public services. That is why we planned an additional €1.2 billion in capital investment for 2017 alone.

“We did all of this while staying within the fiscal rules and balancing the books.

“Sinn Féin welcomes any badly-need respite for low to middle income workers in the public sector, but regardless of the righteousness of the issue it still needs to be funded.

“All I have asked the Minister is to outline, as we have done, how he intends to fund his policy decisions.

“His utter refusal to do so, coupled with his admission of a €500m overspend on tax cuts, means we are heading into an October budget that will see further cuts in public services at a time of unprecedented demands on capacity.” 

Note: Please see the PQs in question below

QUESTION NO:  159

DÁIL QUESTION addressed to the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Paschal Donohoe)
by Deputy David Cullinane
for WRITTEN ANSWER on 09/02/2017  

 To ask the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the total amount of the carryover cost of budget 2017 measures into 2018; the impact the carryover cost will have on the net fiscal space available for budget 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
  

REPLY.

The estimated carryover impact of certain Budget 2017 measures was published on Page 36 of Expenditure Report 2017 (Table 9) and amounted to approximately €½ billion at that time. This estimate will be updated as the relevant Budget measures are implemented.

These carryover costs will need to be accommodated within the net fiscal space available for Budget 2018 to the extent that such carryover impact cannot be met by reprioritisation of Departmental expenditure identified during the Spending Review.

QUESTION NO:  160

DÁIL QUESTION addressed to the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Paschal Donohoe)
by Deputy David Cullinane
for WRITTEN ANSWER on 09/02/2017  

To ask the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if the government currently has the funding to pay for the agreement reached with unions to move forward pay restoration under the Lansdowne Road Agreement to 1 April 2017; the source of the funding currently secured; the measures already identified by the government to pay for the funding, by department, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
  

REPLY.

I refer the Deputy to my answer to PQ 3273/17 on the 26th of January 2017.

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