Friday 23 March 2018

The incredible shrinking man versus the doctor

The Government is sticking to its game plan of deflating the economy, but this could kill us before it cures us, writes Brendan O'Connor

I don't know if it's him or me but I generally don't know what the Taoiseach is talking about anymore. I'm assuming he does, or thinks he does. Best to give him the benefit of the doubt.

This is what he said during the week when he was tackled about the banks not loaning to small businesses, something the Government had promised they would do. Apparently that plan, involving a promised €3bn a year to SMEs, "has to be looked at very carefully" because "we have already given credit lines from the banks to ensure, on the basis of their successful recapitalisation, that they'll be in a position to have credit lines to business".

He went on to say, "the issue of the State being further guarantor in respect of loans to business in addition to what security business is already providing is something that has to be very carefully considered". He concluded by saying that the working capital needs of small businesses "are best provided for once the full recapitalisation of the banking system is in place and that's at an advanced stage".

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