Labour sets five tests for July Stimulus and calls for a package of at least €10bn
- Package must make an impact, create and save jobs, and improve public services
The Labour Party Finance spokesperson Ged Nash has today published a set of five tests that the government’s upcoming July Stimulus package must meet, calling for a package of at least €10 billion over two years that will create new quality jobs and improve public services.
Deputy Nash said:
“Following the economic shutdown caused by COVID-19, we need strong Government action to help hundreds of thousands of people get back to work by saving jobs where we can, and critically to create good quality jobs that in particular help young people who have been hardest hit by the recession.
“That is why we have set the Government five tests that their announcement next week must meet. The fiscal package should include a frontloaded stimulus of at least €10 billion over two years. With borrowing costs at record lows now is the time to invest in our future, restore productive capacity, address our infrastructural deficit and triple spending on training and reskilling.
“Key Labour proposals today include a short time working scheme that would eventually replace the Temporary Wage subsidy scheme. Labour is also calling for core welfare rates to be increased by €10 a week, and for the standard rate of VAT to be reduced from 23% to 21%.
“The Government’s July Stimulus package and its subsequent National Economic Plan and Budget 2021 will be crucial to set out a new direction for our economy. They will show how committed the Government really is to creating jobs and maintaining people’s living standards.
“Labour will judge the Government’s July Stimulus and economic plans on the basis of five tests:
- The stimulus must be big enough to counteract the negative impact of COVID-19 and Brexit on jobs, businesses and household finances.
- The stimulus must be directed at the creation of good quality jobs, especially for younger workers.
- The goal must be to create a new economic model, based on lifelong learning, caring and sustainability.
- Stimulus measures must reduce economic inequality.
- The stimulus must strengthen public services, including a single-tier public health system, a safe return to school in September and major investment in public housing.
“This is an opportunity for the new Government to live up to the social democratic principles it claims to profess. Despite repeated questions the Government has not indicated the size of the stimulus it intends to provide next week. That is why we have set five tests they must meet, and outlined the key policy areas it should be targeted at.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has demonstrated the importance of the public sector and the role of the State in solving problems faced by our people. We must now grasp the opportunity to invest in public services, housing, education, childcare and health. The July Stimulus presents that chance and the government should not waste it.”