Howlin calls on Donohoe to stop politicising budget information

05 June 2018

The Labour Party Leader, Brendan Howlin, has called on the Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure, to stop playing party politics with basic budgetary information.

Deputy Howlin said:

“The newspapers have abounded in the last few days about how the Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure is laying traps for the opposition in the run up the publication of the Summer Economic Statement and this year’s Budget by seeking to present basic economic information in a manner favourable to his perspective. 

“The reality is that Paschal Donohoe has sought to conceal basic budgetary information from the Opposition for a year now – since he stopped publishing information on the fiscal space. (This is an issue I raised a year ago – https://www.labour.ie/news/2017/10/22/government-reneging-on-budget-transparency/). That information has been dragged from him now as a result of Opposition complaints but if his departmental spinning is anything to go by the Minister remains intent on playing party political games.

“The Minister for Finance has one clear duty, to set out the amount of money available for expenditure on budget day consistent with the fiscal rules and let a debate take place on what an appropriate level of spend and tax cuts might be. I doubt my view on this will the same as his. 

“It is not the Minister’s job to ‘trap’ anybody into a position that he can attack politically by presenting the figures in a particular way.

“He is entitled to his view on the appropriate budgetary stance, as others are too but thiis reeks of traditional Fine Gael patricianism – Paschal knows best.

“In Government, the Labour Party sought to bring transparency to the budget process, that openness should not now be closed down.”

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