Wednesday 29 January 2020

New think-tank starts with €15bn job-creation vision

Lyndsey Telford

A NEWLY launched think-tank has proposed a €15bn investment strategy to boost jobs and demand.

The Nevin Economic Research Institute has claimed the five-year plan would not add to the national debt. Institute director Tom Healy insisted the programme would contribute to Ireland's economic recovery yet cost the taxpayer nothing.

"Crucially, the programme of investment over five years will not add one cent to the Government debt or be an additional burden on the taxpayer," Dr Healy said.

"In reality, it could generate resources for the Exchequer through the creation of new jobs and by boosting domestic demand."

Most recent figures have estimated that around 440,000 people are claiming unemployment benefits in Ireland, while an estimated 40,000 were expected to emigrate this year in search of work abroad.

The €15bn would be raised through pension funds and the European Investment Bank. The strategy would see investment targeted at areas seen to be currently lacking in Ireland, such as broadband provision, energy, water infrastructure, retro-fitting homes and early childhood learning.

"The funds for the investment programme can be sourced from our own National Pension Reserve Fund, private Irish pension funds -- most of whom have their resources invested overseas -- and from the European Investment Bank," Mr Healy added.

The all-island think-tank, which focuses on economic policy, is funded by trade unions linked with the Irish Congress of Trade Unions.

The institute, which is made up of four economists based in Dublin and Belfast, was officially launched yesterday.

Irish Independent

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