Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Finance, Michael McGrath has said that Goodbody’s Quarter 3 Health Check on the Irish economy has clearly highlighted Fine Gael’s track record when it comes to capital expenditure and investment in the Irish economy.
When compared to 2007, Ireland’s voted capital expenditure has reduced by a colossal 34% in 2017, while current voted expenditure has returned and exceeded pre crisis levels.
Deputy McGrath commented, “In recent weeks and months Fine Gael would want us to believe that they have come to rescue with their plan for capital expenditure and investment. However, nothing could be further from the truth.
“Back in 2015, the then Fine Gael-led government published the Capital Plan yet, despite the hype, it was extremely lacking in ambition and failed to recognise the crucial bottlenecks emerging in Ireland’s economy from transport and communications to health and of course housing.
“The plan lacked any consideration of the fact that Ireland was facing an enormous demographic challenge and an increasing population. Ever since then Fine Gael have been playing catch up when it comes to capital investment and this Goodbody report highlights this fact.
“It is clear that to unlock unused capacity in the Irish economy we need to remove infrastructure bottlenecks. This would better enable Ireland’s economy to grow on a sustainable trajectory and avoid the booms and busts of the past.
“We need more investment in infrastructure that unlocks vacant land for housing development. Without this housing will become unaffordable for a greater number of people. This will drive up inflation across the board and will be disastrous for our competitiveness.
“With the uncertainty surrounding Brexit we need to be clear that despite what the government and Fine Gael say, we have an enormous hole to fill with capital investment. Fianna Fáil has been alluding to this for many years and months now. We have called for a greater use of Public Private Partnerships to fund major projects like the Cork – Limerick motorway.
“The NTMA and the European Investment Bank have also validated our position and only now has the Government undertaken a review of their policy around PPP’s.
“We have been here before when Fine Gael have promised much and delivered little. We will not be fooled by the image that Fine Gael are now trying to create that they are the saviours of capital expenditure in Ireland”, concluded McGrath.