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ESRI report confirms government do not have a handle on public finances - Pearse Doherty TD

20 June, 2019 - by Pearse Doherty TD

Sinn Féin Finance spokesperson, Pearse Doherty TD, has said the government is responsible for publishing statistics lacking in credibility on the public finances which conceal the true extent of Fine Gael’s mismanagement of taxpayer funds.

The Donegal TD was speaking following the publication of the ESRI’s latest Quarterly Commentary, which flatly contradicts government projections for running surpluses in 2019 and 2020.

Teachta Doherty said:

“The government’s own assessment of the public finances has now been openly contradicted twice in as many weeks by IFAC and now the ESRI.

“Once again singling out Fine Gael’s over-reliance on corporate tax to fund public service spending, the ESRI also warned that the waste and squander of Fianna Fáil’s boom and bust years not be repeated regarding capital projects.

“It appears as though the government is consciously publishing statistics lacking in credibility to conceal the true extent of their mismanagement of public finances.

“As families tackle ever-rising living costs, and as the economy faces into a number of significant risks, it is clear this state needs investment.

“Prioritising investment in childcare, in higher and further education, and in low-carbon housing and infrastructure would unlock significant economic potential while also lifting the cost of living burden from families.

“But all of this is made extremely difficult if the government continues to issue election pledges on the back of a narrow and increasingly volatile tax base.

“Indeed, just yesterday the government doubled down on their commitment to hollow out the tax base by a further €3bn for a tax cut promise made by Leo Varadkar that will impact only the top one fifth of earners.

“We know hundreds of millions of taxpayers money is being leaked away in tax breaks to banks and property developers. We know capital projects are set to overrun by hundreds of millions.

“We also now know the government is publishing statistics which lack any credibility to cover themselves and hide their record of mismanagement.

“The economy and our public finances are not the PR tools of the Fine Gael strategists.

“It’s time for Fine Gael to get real and get it’s house in order, and the coming Summer Economic Statement is a chance to do so honestly and accurately.”

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