Tuesday 19 November 2019

Taoiseach: we will not repeat 'when we have it, spend it' approach

Plan will avoid "boom and bust"

Enda Kenny
Enda Kenny
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has revealed his plan to avoid future economic volatility for the Irish people.

Writing in an article for The Irish Times, Mr Kenny promised to curb Government spending so that it falls below the country's economic growth rate.

"Our plan will target steady growth, about 3pc a year, not boom and bust," he said.

"Steady growth of this nature will eliminate the remaining deficit and bring Government debt down to below average European levels without any new taxes or charges, while also allowing for tax reform and targeted improvement in education, childcare, health services and frontline policing."

In the article, marking the fourth anniversary of the Coalition, the Taoiseach outlined the plan he would implement if he was returned to office.

He said that Ireland could not repeat the "when we have it, we spend it" attitude of previous governments.

“[W]hat was unsustainable during the Celtic Tiger – public sector pay hikes without reform, a narrow tax base, the proliferation of quangos, a welfare system that perpetuated joblessness and poverty – was still unsustainable now," he said.

"The outlandish spending commitments from the Opposition parties suggest they have learnt nothing from the mistakes of the past.”

Mr Kenny's comments follow the promise by Gerry Adams to "abolish water charges" and "scrap the property tax" if Sinn Fein is elected to Government.

Meanwhile, Tanaiste Joan Burton claimed average families face a 7pc income tax hike if they vote for Sinn Fein.

Speaking at an IWD event at the Merrion hotel, Ms Burton said that, despite Sinn Fein's claims that the new taxes will only target people earning over €100,000 a year, couples earning half that will also be affected.

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