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Government must set out its stall on Fiscal Rules debate - MEP MacManus

17 January, 2022 - by Chris MacManus MEP

Government must set out its stall on Fiscal Rules debate - MEP MacManus

Sinn Féin MEP and member of the European Parliament’s Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee, Chris MacManus has said the time has come for the Government and Minister Paschal Donohue to set out Ireland’s position on Fiscal Rules reform.

MacManus said:

“Today Eurozone Finance Ministers are meeting and reform of economic governance is on the agenda. In recent days, we have seen the French and Italian governments call for reform of the fiscal rules. We have also seen indications of a softening of attitude from the new Dutch government. What we haven’t heard is the Irish government and Minister Donohue’s view on the debate.”

“It has been clear for some time now that a return to the status quo of the pre-covid fiscal rules is not on the cards. The question now, is how much reform will there be.  As soon as the true impact of the covid crisis became apparent, the EU rightly suspended their fiscal rules.  The reality is that if they were to be reintroduced tomorrow without any changes the impact on countries’ economies would be brutal. They are being reviewed because they have failed.”

MacManus outlined his party’s position and called on government parties to do the same. “Sinn Féin has been clear - we want deep and radical reform including the exempting or benign treatment of expenditure that is necessary for the Climate transition and for social infrastructure like housing. Arbitrary, one-size-fits-all, targets figures for debt and deficits should be dumped in favour of a more realistic and dynamic set of indicators.”

“The question is though is where does the Fine Gael/Fianna Fáil government stand? Is it with those calling for real reform or with the more conservative countries seeking a return to the failed policies of the past? The time has come for the government to set out its stall on this critical issue.” ENDS

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