“Billion-dollar Irish recovery fund is no place for secrecy” – Chris MacManus MEP
Sinn Féin MEP Chris MacManus today raised concerns that Ireland’s National Plan submitted to access the EU’s Resilience and Recovery Fund is ‘shrouded in secrecy. It is unacceptable that such large amounts, up to €1bn, of public money are subject to secret conditions.’
Speaking today in the European Parliament MacManus said:
“The RRF will make €672.5 bn available in loans and grants to support Member States weather the economic crisis caused by the pandemic. However, it has been confirmed to Sinn Féin that Ireland’s submitted plan to the EU includes secrecy provisions. Therefore, we cannot know the full commitments made by the government to the EU regarding sensitive issues such as tax.”
“We must also remember that the enabling legislation for the RRF, that allows the EU Commission borrow unprecedented amounts was approved by a Cabinet rubber stamp and without any Dáil debate.”
The Sinn Féin MEP criticised a ‘lack of debate’ and ‘a culture of secrecy’.
“Drawn up with scant consultation or outreach, the Irish Government’s National Plan to access the RRF was recently submitted and ,again, this was done without democratic debate. We now know that some of it was redacted, visible to neither the public nor their elected reps.”
“The Irish people have a right to know what future decisions and commitments are being made on their behalf.”
“Therefore, we have to ask, is tax policy now being decided in a redacted document by civil servants in Brussels and Dublin without due democratic recourse?”
“Details of any reform must be publicly scrutinised, not developed under pressure to access recovery funds.
MacManus concluded, “The Irish people did not elect representatives to Dublin and Brussels to have the truth hidden away from them. This culture of secrecy is unacceptable. “ ENDS