Fine Gael TD for Dublin Fingal, Alan Farrell, has said that “the Government’s Spring Economic Statement will set out the strategy to ensure that the benefits of the economic recovery will be felt in every household in the North County.”
“The economic recovery is gaining momentum and the Government has a plan to ensure its benefits are felt in every household in Dublin Fingal, and throughout the country. After the years of hardship caused by the economic crisis and the disastrous policies of the last Government, it is time to ensure that living standards and public services are improved for every person in the North County. It is time to give our young emigrants the opportunity to return home and this Government plans to do just that.
“Since this Government took office, the national deficit has been reduced significantly from €15 billion to €4.5 billion, and our national debt is now moving towards the European average. Thankfully this was achieved with fewer tax increases and expenditure cuts than previously thought possible. We ensured that we maintained the core social welfare rates to protect the most vulnerable, while getting the economy back on track. We built more schools in the midst of the economic recovery than were built under the Fianna Fáil led government during the boom years. In what is the first step towards universal free GP care, 300,000 children and senior citizens who currently have to pay to see their GP, will no longer have to do so from this summer.
“We will, this year, reach our target for the creation of 100,000 jobs, a year earlier than planned and, by 2018, all of the jobs which were lost during the crash will have been recovered.
“Many citizens now find themselves struggling with mortgage arrears. Minster Noonan plans to meet with the six main lenders in Irish Banking in May, to discuss their plans for reducing interest rates and the Government intends to make an announcement on this in the coming weeks.
“A cornerstone of the Government’s plan to grow the economy and improve living standards is to put money back into people’s pockets through reductions in income tax and the USC. This is being undertaken in a responsible manner which will not jeopardise the recovery. As Minister Noonan said in his speech to the Dáil, we will not return to the ‘if I have it I’ll spend it” ways of Fianna Fáil. That approach, which was aimed at buying elections, would represent the single biggest threat to our economic growth.
“By contrast, this Government is focusing on sustainable long term growth. It is estimated that the economy will grow by 4% this year and by 3.25% per year for the next decade. For Budget 2016, Minister Noonan says he will have flexibility of between €1.2- 1.5 billion and that this will be split evenly between tax reductions and spending on vital public services.
“This economic growth and resulting budgetary policy is sustainable and we will ensure that everyone will feel the benefit. The days of austerity are over and every person in Dublin Fingal should start to feel the beginnings of prosperity again. Historically, Fine Gael in Government has always been focused on the prudent management of the public finances. Minister Noonan has repeatedly emphasised that Fine Gael in government will not allow a return to the precarious boom and bust model of the past.”