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Ireland needs greater flexibility in application of EU fiscal rules – Quinlivan

1 June, 2016 - by Maurice Quinlivan TD

Sinn Féin TD and spokesperson on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Maurice Quinlivan has called on the government to increase funding for the capital spending plan for 2016 to 2021.

Speaking in response to the publication of the ‘State of Ireland 2016’ report on the country’s infrastructure, Deputy Quinlivan said:

“This is not rocket science. If the economy is to develop the government must invest increased funding in infrastructure and large projects. Done properly public investment programmes can be key drivers in addressing poverty, inequality and building a fairer society. Right now, we have a chronic shortage of social housing, outdated or non-existent flood defences, a shortage of schools and a lack of basic infrastructure throughout the country.

“Failure to invest in these projects will seriously hinder a balanced economic recovery. Ireland has been ranked 40th of 61 countries for basic infrastructure in the 2016 World Competitiveness Yearbook.

“I recently submitted a written question to the Minister for Finance asking him to explain his comments that ‘we do not meet the criteria for applying for greater flexibility on EU fiscal rules to support long-term investment programmes’.

“Minister Noonan’s response that Ireland is not eligible to invoke the investment clause provision in the Stability and Growth Pact due to the levels of growth projected in the Department’s current macroeconomic outlook, is not acceptable.

“Ireland must demand greater flexibility in the application of EU fiscal rules. It is the duty of the government and Minister Noonan to ensure this happens. The needs of the people of Ireland and the future development of the Irish economy must take precedence over EU bureaucracy.” 

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