Government Sabotaged Economy: Fine Gael

A Fianna Gael TD has claimed the Government have "sabotaged" the economy's capacity to withstand tougher economic times through reckless financial management.

On Tuesday, it was revealed the government was already facing a €3.6 billion deficit in tax revenues, on top of the already planned €5 billion shortfall, according to Fine Gael's Deputy Leader and Spokesman on Finance, Richard Bruton TD.

He said: "This Government have sabotaged Ireland's capacity to handle tougher economic times through reckless financial management over several years.

'It is bad management, not bad luck that has led to this nosedive in the public finances. This €10 billion reversal in our public finances - we had a €2 billion surplus in 2006 - is unprecedented."

The tax returns also show an ballooning in government spending to €22.2bn over the first five months, compared with the €19.4bn spent at the same stage last year.

The figures indicate a steep road ahead for Finance Minister Brian Lenihan, as the shortfall in tax revenues and deteriorating budget is crippled by the worsening construction sector and rise in unemployment.

Mr Bruton said: "The Government could look again at some of the proposals Fine Gael have advanced recently: they include proposals to cut the number of Quangos to save millions each year for the taxpayer and cut the lower rate of VAT to help the cost of living through a windfall levy on power generators' unearned profits from free carbon credits."


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