Fianna Fail: Let Fiscal Council cost proposals
Fianna Fail has published legislation to establish a system allowing political parties cost their election proposals before the country goes to the ballot box.
The party is proposing that the Irish Fiscal Advisory Council would cost proposals from the Opposition. The Government planned to establish a budget office for Opposition politicians but abandoned the plan in recent months.
Fianna Fail finance spokesman Michael McGrath accused the Government of "dragging its feet" on introducing an independent process for costing policy positions.
Under Mr McGrath's proposal, the Fiscal Council would publish its costings with the permission of the political parties, which he said would lead to more transparency when it comes to alternative budgets and election promises.
He said the current process for costing proposals was "entirely unsatisfactory" and needed to be changed to allow politicians offer the electorate clear policy proposals.
"Full transparency as to the cost of the cumulative impact of manifesto proposals would greatly enhance the quality of debate in the run up to the general election," he said.
He added: "Our legislation would mandate the Fiscal Council to carry out analysis on behalf of qualifying political parties in relation to the effect that manifesto proposals would, in the opinion of the Fiscal Council, have on the budgetary position of the State in advance of a general election."