29 March 2017

Labour Party Leader, Brendan Howlin today attended a meeting of all member parties of the Party of European Socialists (PES), to discuss in detail ways of revising the fiscal rules of the Stability and Growth Pact to allow for greater public investment.

Commenting after the working group meeting, Deputy Howlin said:

“The rules that govern fiscal policy are rigid, opaque and complex. Worse, they stop us from making investments that our society needs.

“The network of financial and economic experts put together by the PES is expected to report before summer 2017.

“Today, we discussed a draft report which includes a proposal that productive capital investment would not be calculated as part of public deficits. In Ireland, for example, this could allow us to make much greater and badly needed investment in social housing.

“Achieving this type of change is one of the 20 key actions that we in Labour believe the Government should be taking in response to Brexit.

“We have heard much about the experience that Enda Kenny and Michael Noonan have at EU level. It is time they started using that experience to achieve agreement on concrete actions that will help Ireland deal with the impact of Brexit.”

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