Fianna Fáil TD for Dublin North West, Paul McAuliffe says that given the huge scale of the impact of Covid-19 on the economy, the Rainy-Day Fund should be used to provide support t in the current challenging circumstances.
Deputy McAuliffe said: “The Rainy-Day Fund was first proposed by Fianna Fáil in 2015 and negotiated into the Confidence and Supply Agreement the following year. We did so because it is the responsible thing to do to put resources aside which can be deployed when the economic cycle takes a turn for the worse.”
“With the whole country now moving to Level 3 in the Living with Covid Framework and the World Health Organisation now anticipating that the virus will be with us for further 12-18 months, it is surely now time to put this fund into action.
“The Stability Programme Update published in April set out that the Rainy Day Fund, which stands at €1.5 billion, would be drawn down during the course of 2020 but this has yet to happen.”
“It can be done so in accordance with section 9 of the National Surplus (Exceptional Contingencies) Reserve Fund Act 2019 to ‘remedy or mitigate the occurrence in the State of exceptional circumstances.”
“In making this call I fully acknowledge that the fiscal response of the government to the pandemic has been dramatic and unprecedented. Yet just as the response to Covid has now been stepped up a level, it is now time to go further on the economic side,” concluded the Deputy.