Fianna Fáil Enterprise Spokesperson Willie O’Dea has today welcomed the recommendation in the McCarty Review Group Report that there should be no fire sale of state assets. He also pointed out how the report raised serious questions about the viability of Fine Gael’s stimulus plan New Era.
Commenting on the report Deputy O’Dea said: “I welcome the fact that the Review Group has warned against a rushed sale process. I also agree with the Report’s view that energy assets are of strategic importance and should be retained in state ownership. I believe that this principle should be extended to accessibility infrastructure such as ports and airports. I intend to consider this report in depth over the coming days and weeks.”
“One pressing issue that arises today in the context of the report relates to Fine Gael’s much vaunted stimulus package. The FG election manifesto and the Programme for Government both contain commitments that the proceeds from the sale of state assets would be used to fund this programme. The Government needs to clarify if this is still the case or if the revenue raised by the sale of assets will be now used to reduce the State’s indebtedness”.
“If the latter transpires, this would effectively leave the New Era plan unfunded.
Without funding, Fine Gael would not be in a position to deliver on the 105,000 jobs promised under this programme”
Deputy O’Dea concluded: “It appears that Michael Noonan may well have been correct when he dismissed New Era and its fanciful targets as a ‘PR add –on’.”