26/09/2012

Think-Tank Warn Budget Cuts Could Cost 30,000 Jobs

An economic think-tank has warned that 30,000 jobs could be lost through the ongoing government budget cuts.

Researchers also claim plans to take €3.5 billion from the economy in December by cutting key services and income protection for low earners could have dire consequences.

The Nevin Economic Research Institute (Neri), which was set up in March and is funded by trade unions, said the State could instead shore up €1 billion by increasing taxes on high earners and wealth groups.

Think-tank director Tom Healy said it was possible to adopt an alternative budgetary strategy that would still meet the terms and targets set by Ireland’s debt masters, the troika of the European Commission, the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank.

In its latest report, Neri said the Government’s austerity strategy was failing and that introducing a stimulus instead of making cuts could create more than 20,000 jobs.

It said existing austerity measures could risk 30,000 positions.

“The choice between taxes and spending is ours to make,” said Dr Healy, ahead of the publication of Neri’s latest quarterly report.

“Most people have already taken enough in cuts to public services and wages along with increased charges. What we need instead is a strategy that invests in growth and begins to address the huge shortfall in taxes paid at the very top end of the income distribution.”

The think-tank suggested maintaining 2012 spending levels, reversing capital spending cuts and introducing a wealth tax.

(H/GK)

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