Sinn Féin spokesperson on Finance, Pearse Doherty TD, has responded to the European Commission’s proposals on the European fiscal rules.
Speaking today, the Donegal TD said:
“Today, the European Commission has brought forward its proposals to change the fiscal rules.
“Sinn Féin have been consistent in our view that the fiscal rules were not fit for purpose and required radical reform.
“Their design required Member States to consolidate during economic downturns; deepening recessions, increasing unemployment and harming economic recovery.
“The targets that underpinned them were arbitrary and unsuitable for the Irish economy.
“Their surveillance undermined the sovereignty of Member States.
“What is required is the replacement of damaging rules with flexible standards that promote investment in the challenges we face – from housing provision and infrastructure deficits to climate action and improved health outcomes.
“What the Commission have proposed today is an improvement on the damaging rules of the past but it is clear that previous proposals have been diluted to placate the German government.
“A number of issues that Sinn Féin argued consistently and strongly against as unworkable have been removed.
“However, while certain benchmarks that were never suitable for the Irish economy have been removed, arbitrary targets remain in place that could damage the economy, services and societies of Member States that deviate from them.
“As the proposals are brought before the European Parliament and Council, it is crucial that the final proposals adopted respect the sovereignty of Member States, abandon the failed rules of the past and allow for investment in the challenges that face our economy and society.”