December 15, 2023
European Parliament position on fiscal rules reform a “huge disappointment”: MacManus

European Parliament position on fiscal rules reform a “huge disappointment”: MacManus

Sinn Féin Midlands Northwest MEP Chris MacManus has voted against the European Parliament’s position on reform of the fiscal rules calling it a “huge disappointment”. As a member of the Parliament’s Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee he rejected the Parliament’s proposed position in a vote in Strasbourg.

MacManus said:
“As Trade Unionists from all over Europe gathered in Brussels this week for a march against “Austerity 2.0”, I am proud to have rejected the Parliament’s poor position on the reform of the Fiscal Rules. In so many important ways, it falls short of the radical reform required and sticks close to the conservative script of the European Commission.”

The parliament’s position sticks to the arbitrary targets of 3% deficits and 60% debt/GDP ratio. Fundamentally, this means all other elements amount only to tweaks. The European Commission, unelected and unaccountable, is handed even more power over countries’ budgets and the promised “golden rule” exempting investments is nowhere to be seen. 

The parliament has however backed exemptions for military spending meaning it will be easier to break budget rules to buy tanks than it will be to build houses. The lessons of the failure of the fiscal rules have not been learned it seems.

“Rather than radical reform, we have been presented by the Commission with a recipe for the entrenching of undemocratic rules which impinge on sovereignty and lead to bad economic decisions like austerity.”

“The huge investment challenges in housing, health and infrastructure facing our country cannot be tackled with one hand behind our back and a Brussels bureaucrat overseeing every policy decision. The Parliament should be rejecting these rules , not rubber stamping them.” ENDS