Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Kelly welcomes stimulus package but warns against the sale of vital state assets

Cllr Anthony Kelly has welcomed the government’s announcement of a €2 billion stimulus package, which will boost the areas of transport, education and health, and lead to the completion of major road works in County Wexford. However the Sinn Féin Councillor warned against selling vital state assets to fund any plan, saying that the ‘pawning of the family silver’ could only lead to long term problems for the state. Cllr Kelly also questioned why a specific job creation plan had not been attached to this stimulus.

“I welcome the announcement that €2 billion will be invested into our transport, education and health systems,” Cllr Kelly said, “This is said to include the green-lighting of major road works in County Wexford. This is good news for Wexford and will likely create some new employment. I would have preferred to see the government go a step further and introduce a fully fledged jobs stimulus, funded by the National Pensions Reserve Fund and the European Investment Bank.”

“This announcement is to be welcomed but I would question the government’s claim that part of the funding for this operation will come from the sale of state assets. Selling off parts of successful self-financing commercial State companies is a bad policy decision that will only lead to minor gains in the short term. In the long term, the pawning off of the family silver will lead to major problems for the state and ultimately it is a bad deal for every man, woman and child in this state.”

“Sinn Féin has fully costed a job creation stimulus funded entirely by the National Pension Reserve Fund and the investment from the EIB. The EIB will loan governments or the private sector up to 50% of a project’s funding if it meets their criteria of being a sound and sustainable project such as employment growth, climate change, environmental sustainability, energy, the knowledge economy and infrastructure. Although details are still sketchy, it would seem from the outline of this plan that it meets the EIBs criteria. Why then is the government insisting that we also need funding from the sale of state assets?”

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