Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Willie O’Dea TD has expressed his disappointment that job creation has been marginalised in today’s announcement by the Government of its revised capital programme. He also condemned the 11% cut in the jobs and enterprise department, compared with the 4 Year Plan.
“When it comes to job creation, it is now clear that this Fine Gael/Labour Government is all spin, and no substance. The Government has made much of the need to make “strategic” capital investments, both as a means of enhancing the economy’s growth potential and of creating jobs. The massive cuts to capital spending announced today demonstrate that while this Government talks the talk on job creation, it does not deliver.
“If they were really serious about creating jobs, they would have cut less productive spending, including the billions in waste that they talked about during the election campaign and shifted the money saved into the capital budget. Instead, labour intensive projects have been shelved.
“It is also disappointing that, in the Jobs & Enterprise Department, Fine Gael and Labour are making a 11% cut in capital spending when compared to the 4-Year Plan. They fail to protect the budgets of IDA, Enterprise Ireland, or the County and City Enterprise Boards. The Minister must immediately outline what bodies will face cuts in their budgets.”
Worryingly, the Framework also indicates cuts to the science, technology and innovation (STI) sector: It states that “the need to address fiscal targets will require some retrenchment in funding to research and development.”
Fianna Fáil prioritised and protected this sector given it is a vital driver of major investment decisions by both overseas and indigenous companies, any funding cut will prevent job creation both at home and from international investors from abroad.
Richard Bruton has previously said that cuts in capital spending “undermined the future capacity of the economy” and that they were “the easy way out of a crisis.” He must clarify if he still believes this is the case.