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MacManus warns of “Strings attached” as Ireland receives less than 0.3% of €312Bn EU Recovery Fund

11 February, 2021 - by Chris MacManus MEP

MacManus warns of “Strings attached” as Ireland receives less than 0.3% of €312Bn EU Recovery Fund

Sinn Féin MEP Chris MacManus has said Ireland’s small share of the EU’s recovery fund (the Recovery and Resilience Facility/RRF) comes with strings attached. MacManus expressed his concerns after the European Parliament approved the programme.

The Midlands Northwest MEP said:

“Ireland is set to gain only €853M, or less than 0.3%, of the €312bn in grants available under the RRF and even that small share comes with many strings attached. Critical is the question of how it will be repaid given that the EU has borrowed the money. Proposed EU Taxes could be the thin end of the wedge.

“It’s very likely that Ireland will ultimately pay a hefty cost, financial and through loss of tax sovereignty, for such a miniscule percentage of the fund. The EU is very clear that it wants to introduce a whole range of EU taxes including a Digital Tax, a Financial Transaction Tax and a Common Corporate Tax Base to pay back what it has borrowed for the recovery fund. We need to be aware that there is no free lunch on offer from Brussels.”

MacManus feels many other MEPs fell into an ‘it’s money for nothing’ attitude without giving the long-term ramifications any due thought.  “I am concerned that the money itself comes with conditions linked to the austerity agenda of so many in Brussels. Each country must agree with the Commission a plan to spend the money including how the plan addresses the so-called Country Specific Recommendations. In Ireland’s case these recommendations include ‘broadening the tax base’ and a recommendation to ‘step up action to address features of the tax system that facilitate aggressive tax planning.

The Sinn Féin MEP concluded, “Now that this package has been passed I wish to see it translated into funding the recovery as soon as possible but we should be aware that there may be a long term cost financially and in terms of Irish sovereignty, for less than 0.3% of the fund.” ENDS

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