“There would be €200m extra available in 2020 if the Government had done its job properly in managing the budgets for the new National Children’s Hospital and the National Broadband Plan.”

The Social Democrats have said that the Summer Economic Statement shows that everyone is paying for the failure of Fine Gael to properly cost major projects such as the National Children’s Hospital and the National Broadband Plan

Speaking following the publication of the statement today, party co-leader Catherine Murphy TD said:

“We are in yet another strong period of economic growth – but ordinary people are getting very little from it while citizens are paying the price of cost overruns in major projects.

“There would be €200m extra available in 2020 if the Government had done its job properly in managing the budgets for the new National Children’s Hospital and the National Broadband Plan. The extra funding needed to cover over-runs on major projects means there is far less for everything else.

“The €700m of fiscal space identified in today’s statement by the Finance Minister won’t go very far at all. It means that there is very little room to deliver significant improvements in public services, building homes or even to make tax cuts. The Taoiseach and the Minister for Finance should stop misleading the people that they can deliver extensive tax cuts – it’s simply impossible.

“It’s obvious that question marks now hang over several vitally important government strategies. It’s very difficult to see how the Government can now deliver on the Climate Action Plan, Sláintecare and its housing delivery targets under Rebuilding Ireland.

“Fine Gael needs to come clean with the people on how it can now afford to implement each of these strategies. It also has to go back to the drawing board and radically revise the National Development Plan so that public transport gets much greater priority.”

ENDS

25th June 2019