Sunday 18 August 2019

'No return to boom and bust economics' - Tanaiste rules out give-away budget

Simon Coveney Photo: Tom Burke
Simon Coveney Photo: Tom Burke

Ralph Riegel

TÁNAISTE Simon Coveney ruled out a give-away budget as he warned Ireland must never return to disastrous polices of 'boom and bust'.

Mr Coveney, speaking at the CoWOrkCity employment space initiative, said the Government will be "ambitious but prudent" with the final budget of the agreement with Fianna Fáil.

"The only thing we won't allow - we will not allow Ireland to get back into a boom and bust cycle," he said.

"(A cycle) where we are spending money that we have to borrow and cannot afford to borrow."

"You will see a balanced, sensible but ambitious budget coming from Fine Gael in October and, of course, from our partners in Government too."

"We will work with Fianna Fáil on that in the context of the confidence and supply agreement."

"I am not going to outline what is happening in the budget here today," he said.

"What I will say is that competitiveness is always a key consideration in the build-up to any budget."

"We have had a national consultation on the budget in the last few days - businesses and various stakeholders have their say."

"We will take all of that on board now and start preparing for a budget that will maintain and support a competitive but sustainable economy."

The Tánaiste said he did not believe there was any appetite amongst the Irish electorate for an early election - and he said he hoped Fine Gael, its partners in Government and Fianna Fáil could continue to work together.

"In terms of elections, I don't believe the Irish people want an election and Fine Gael isn't looking for an election."

"But when you are in a minority government situation, you have to be ready for that: if the opposition want to try and trigger one."

"Our focus is on providing the best governance we can given the environment and the challenges we face."

"But that doesn't mean the party won't be ready should it be triggered unexpectedly."

Mr Coveney said facilities such as those offered by CoWOrkCity are vital to helping Ireland create future jobs and businesses.

The complex - in Cork City Hall - offers work spaces for start-up businesses and agencies.

It specifically aims to help micro-indigenous businesses.

"These kind of co-working spaces addresses a lot of those (cost) issues," he said.

"If you are setting up a business on your own or with somebody else, for €70 a week you can get a space here and those costs are looked after for you."

"What we are trying to do is create a pipeline of entrepreneurship that can manage the early challenges of business in a way that is shared."

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