Fianna Fáil TD, Billy Kelleher has questioned the support of AAA TD, Mick Barry for the nationalisation of the pharmaceutical industry in Ireland.

Deputy Kelleher was commenting following reports in the national media that the AAA, at their annual conference, passed a motion supporting the nationalisation of the Irish pharmaceutical industry.

“This is typical of the hard left, and in particular Deputy Barry’s Anti Austerity Alliance. Their seemingly blissful ignorance of basic economic principles would put tens of thousands of jobs across Ireland at risk.”

“Their anti-business policies would send Ireland back to the 1950s, before Sean Lemass’ visionary decision to open Ireland’s economy to foreign direct investment.”

“It’s deeply concerning to hear such reckless and wrong-headed proposals coming from elected representatives with national responsibilities.”

“What the AAA and Mick Barry don’t seem to understand is that pharma companies must invest billions in research and development before a successful product is launched. In many cases, that R&D investment will end up going nowhere.”

“If the pharma industry was nationalised, and taken into public ownership, investing in research would then become the responsibility of the Irish taxpayer.”

“Is Deputy Barry really suggesting that the Irish Exchequer take on this responsibility, without the guarantee of success, when there are public services in health and education urgently requiring investment?” asked the Cork North Central TD.

“The truth is that the hard left doesn’t care about the flight in jobs and collapse in research investment that would follow nationalisation of this industry. Ideology comes first and people come last.”

“Nor do they care about the risk to potential future investment that could arise from politicians in a national parliament floating this sort of policy.”

“Mick Barry’s policy is bad for jobs, bad for Ireland and bad for research into new pharmaceutical drugs.”