Gov Rejects Opposition's Investment Criticism

The Government has rejected Opposition claims that their capital expenditure review does little for older citizens and lacks detail.

Speaking today, Catherine Byrne, Fine Gael Spokesperson on Older Citizens, asked the Health Minister to outline in detail what the impact of the capital expenditure review will be for older citizens.

Ms Byrne said the Government had "put a big spin" on their review of capital spending that outlined some €39billion of capital investment over the next five years.

Ms Byrne said: "There has been much discussion on a 'Fair Deal' for our older citizens with regards to provision of nursing home care and other services but, in light of recent cutbacks, are we heading for a 'no deal' situation for those who deserve better?”

However, Timmy Dooley, Fianna Fáil TD for Clare dismissed the Opposition's criticisms saying Fine Gael were "trying to have it both ways as usual".

Mr Dooley said the plan would create and support 260,000 sustainable jobs over the next five years.

Deputy Dooley said: "The capital investment programme announced today is double the EU average. It is focused on creating sustainable jobs, helping Irish companies grow and attracting more foreign investment. This is exactly the type of stimulus that the economy needs to help rebuild confidence and speed up economic recovery.

"As usual Fine Gael have criticized the Government for not investing enough while at the same acknowledging the difficult economic circumstances we find ourselves in.

"On one hand Fine Gael says we are spending too little and on the other hand, we are not spending enough. This comes a week after their own jobs strategy, New Era, which claimed FG could create 100,000 jobs was rubbished by Finance Spokesman Michael Noonan."

Mr Dooley said it was time for Fine Gael to acknowledge the Government was taking decisive action to return this country to growth and prosperity.

Meanwhile, the Irish Business and Employers Confederation, the group that represents Irish business, welcomed the Governments €39 billion investment plan with its Director Brendan Butler saying it was an important vote of confidence in the Irish economy.

"The scale of the programme remains ambitious by international standards and provides the opportunity to enhance the growth potential of the economy. The certainty that now exists about the Government's investment plans will deliver a much needed stimulus to the domestic economy.

"Government has rightly prioritised the employment aspects of investment. In addition to the much needed infrastructure projects, the plan provides for increased investment in enterprise development, education, skills and R&D."


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