Government must present credible position of the public finances - Pearse Doherty TD
Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson Pearse Doherty TD has called on the government to adopt more credible and realistic presentation of the public finances.
The Donegal TD was speaking following the publication of the Stability Programme Update by the Department of Finance, which assesses the Irish economy and public finances in the time ahead.
Teachta Doherty said:
“Once again the government have published a Stability Programme Update that is based on unrealistic projections of the public finances which lack credibility.
“Brexit-related forecasts depend on a rosy picture of the British economy in which growth and sterling maintain their current strength.
"There is only €1.45bn of a spending increase projected for next year, but already €1.2bn of it pre-committed. This in no way provides for the investment our society sorely needs, and is simply a wildly unrealistic assumption.
“What we do know from this SPU is that a modest general government surplus in 2020 provides a real opportunity to tackle the serious risks facing the Irish economy, at home and abroad.
“Brexit threatens tens of thousands of jobs over the next decade, and will stunt our economic growth. Moreover, global economic growth is weakening.
“Sinn Féin would take this opportunity to invest in public services that will lower the cost of living for families across the island. We must invest now in public infrastructure to prepare for the uncertain times ahead and to lower our carbon emissions.
“Otherwise, it is public money that will be as vulnerable as the rest of the State’s finances to Fine Gael’s track record of flagrant waste and plunder to private interests.
“Well over €1bn of public funds will be lost in the time ahead as the government allows it to leak into the coffers of private bidders for the National Children’s Hospital.
“Today the Taoiseach confirmed that the excessive cost of the National Broadband Plan would be in the region of €3bn, all going to private coffers.
“On top of this, Fine Gael fork out hundreds of millions a year of taxpayer's money in handouts to booming banks, landlords, super-rich property moguls and Vulture Funds leeching off families in financial distress.
“In light of today’s update, the coming Budget must be about an end to the unacceptable and flagrant waste and plunder of public resources to shore up private interests.”