Exchequer Returns show need to invest in vital infrastructure – Burton

02 November 2017

Responding to the latest Exchequer Returns, Labour Finance spokesperson Joan Burton TD, said:

“Today’s Exchequer Returns to the 31st of October represent ten full months of the year, and  indicate that the economy continues to power ahead in terms of tax receipts, while expenditure remains somewhat behind profile.

“Our economy faces a serious crisis in respect of housing, the need to upgrade infrastructure, and improve vital services in health, education and social protection.

“While income tax remains one percent below profile, it continues to grow in real terms, while corporation tax is up 13.5% for the year to date.

“The Minister for Finance now has the resources to expand the school building programme, which has been slowed down to dangerous levels. Right around the country there are projects waiting for approval by Department of Education and Skills. With resources available, the Minster should remove the roadblocks stopping the rebuilding of schools in areas of population growth and take old, worn-out prefabs out of the Irish education system.

“In the context of Brexit, it is interesting to note that customs receipts at the end of October are down 6.1% (€18 million) against profile, as currency differences between the Euro and Sterling tempt more shoppers towards the North and online. This is a trend which particularly has to worry businesses operating within an hour or two of the border.

“On housing, there is a notable deficit in the number of apprentices being trained in Ireland. These returns show that investing more in apprenticeships would provide the vital labour skills to build more housing units quicker. It is difficult to understand why the Government is shilly-shallying on this.

“The recent assessment of Ireland’s bid for the Rugby World Cup has to be a wake-up call on how far behind we are in key infrastructure such as public transport, broadband and housing for such a rich country.”

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