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OECD's call for Governments to reject austerity & harness fiscal policy to boost recovery welcome – Pearse Doherty TD

4 January, 2021 - by Pearse Doherty TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Finance, Pearse Doherty TD, has welcomed the shift in policy adopted by the OECD and its Chief Economist, who today called on Governments to reject austerity and utilize progressive fiscal policy to boost recovery and reduce unemployment as economies emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Speaking today, Teachta Doherty said:
“The third surge of the Coronavirus poses a grave threat to the health and security of our society.
“Since this pandemic began, I have called on the Government to act fast and do whatever it takes to protect jobs and support incomes throughout the public health measures that have been necessary to contain the spread of the virus.
“That is as important now as it ever has been. Sinn Féin continually called for the restoration higher rates to both the Pandemic Unemployment Payment and Wage Subsidy Scheme, and these supports are essential in supporting workers and families during these difficult times.
“When we emerge from this crisis, we must rethink the size and role of the State, our public services, and how we fund them.
“Sinn Féin have always argued for a more responsive and active State, especially its role in providing public services and housing was hollowed out by Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil.
“As we emerge from this crisis, recovery must be led by progressive fiscal policy rather than the tired and failed policies of past and present.
“I welcome the comments made today by Laurence Boone, Chief Economist of the OECD, who has called on Governments to reject austerity policies and arbitrary deficit targets, but instead use fiscal policy and sustainable deficit spending to reduce unemployment and promote economic recovery.
“This is a welcome shift from the OECD, which was itself and an aggressive cheerleader of the failed austerity policies which prolonged recession and deepened unemployment.
“In the longer term, better public services, affordable housing and a more responsive State will require changes in tax and policy which run against the instincts and ideology of Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael.
“Housing is only one example, where these parties have created a tax regime that serves the interest of developers and investment funds at the expense of workers and families.
“If we are to pursue a fair recovery for workers and families, the failed policies of the past must be rejected and overcome.”

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