Government must put investment in jobs and loss sharing with ECB on Ecofin agenda – Doherty
Speaking after the publication of the European Commission Spring Economic Forecast Sinn Féin’s Finance Spokesperson Pearse Doherty TD said that, ‘once again official figures demonstrate that the states growing debt is unsustainable’ and called on the Government to put ‘investment in jobs’ and ‘loss sharing with the European Central Bank’ on the agenda of next week’s European Council Economic and Financial Affairs (Ecofin) meeting.
Deputy Doherty said:
“The European Commission’s Spring Economic Forecast is bad news for the Governments current economic strategy.
“The Commission believe that GDP growth will be lower than the Government’s projections of 0.75%, reaching only 0.6% this year. They also expect unemployment to continue rising hitting 14.6% by years end. As a result, while predicting that the deficit will narrow to 10.5%, it is still higher than the Government’s hoped for targets.
“It is hardly surprising, given these depressing figures that our public debt is also expected to rise to 118% of GDP by 2012,
“While the Commission predicts that the level of public debt will start to fall from 2012, it is hard to see how this is possible in the absence of any meaningful growth in employment.
“The absence of investment in job creation in last weeks Jobs Initiative suggests that the Commission’s forecasts beyond 2012 are as optimistic as the Government’s forecasts for 2011.
“It is becoming increasingly clear that our debt to GDP ratio will continue to grow post 2012 unless there is a dramatic shift in policy from both the Government and the European Commission.
“Once again official figures demonstrate that the state’s growing debt is unsustainable. The only solution is for the EU/IMF austerity programme to be scrapped and for a new deal to be negotiated, based on investment in jobs to generate economic growth and loss sharing with the European Central Bank to reduce the debt. This is the only way that our deficit can be reduced enabling the state to return to the international bond markets to resume normal lending.
“Sinn Féin is calling on the government to put investment in jobs and loss sharing with the ECB on the agenda of the European Council Economic and Financial Affairs meeting next week. Failure to do so will condemn Irish society to a lost decade of unemployment, rising debt and declining living standards.”