Fianna Fáil TD and Frontbench Spokesperson on Enterprise, Jobs and Innovation Willie O’Dea has called on the Government to come clean on how they intend to fund their jobs measures into the future in light of the publication of the revised EU IMF agreement.
Up to now the Government has strongly indicated that that proceeds from the sale of state assets would be used to fund major employment initiatives. However, the document published last night contains no such commitment, stating instead that the disposal of assets would be used to reduce government debt.
Commenting on this Deputy O’Dea said: “It was less than a fortnight ago that the Minister for Public Expenditure Brendan Howlin went on national radio to assure the public that EU and IMF had agreed to consider proposals to divert proceeds to job creation projects. The Minister for Communications Pat Rabbitte also echoed this sentiment in a newspaper article saying that he would ‘certainly want to see the proceeds used for investment purposes’.”
“In fact Fine Gael and Labour have long been promising that the receipts from the sale of state assets would be used to fund jobs initiatives. Both the Programme for Government and Fine Gael’s election manifesto pledged to fund investment programmes such as New Era through the disposal of states assets.”
“Indeed as far back as last December, during the Dáil debate on then Memorandum of Understanding, Enda Kenny clearly sated: ‘The IMF has confirmed that, as a matter of principle, it is open to our NewERA proposals to finance an investment stimulus in energy, water and broadband through the sale of State assets that are no longer strategic to economic development’.”
“It is looking increasing likely that this is yet another u-turn by the new Government and that Micheal Noonan was correct when he dismissed the high profile New Era programme as a mere public relations add on,” Deputy O’Dea concluded.