Exchequer returns show need for increased investment
Responding to the latest Exchequer Returns, Labour Finance spokesperson Joan Burton TD, said:
“As I have been predicting for a number of months, the tax returns for November have exceeded profile and are now nearly €200 million ahead while expenditure is significantly below projections. I am very surprised that capital expenditure is nearly €500 million below profile this late in the year when we have a growing economy facing constraints in key sectors like housing, transport and education.
“The continued strong performance of corporation tax and VAT highlights the strength of the economy and the need for investment in essential infrastructure if Ireland is to meet the challenge of Brexit and remain competitive.
“Income tax has been trending slightly below profile all but this reflects the change towards increase numbers of self employed.
“Ireland faces a large number of known and unknown risks. The best way for Ireland to meet this challenge is to invest in our people and their skills, and ensure that they have access to decent public transport, housing, and local schools and hospitals.
“We need some fresh thinking in the Government’s long promised Capital Programme including the electrification of our train lines such as the tracks out to Maynooth, and the rebuilding of older school and hospital stock.
“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.”