The government’s chronic underspending in areas that are fundamental to Ireland’s long-term economic growth shows that it is allergic to the concept of investing now to save later, the Social Democrats co-leader Róisín Shortall TD said today.

Deputy Shortall made her comments as new figures from the NERI think tank show that Ireland is underspending on infrastructure, education and research by between €2.5 billion and €3 billion annually.

Deputy Shortall said:

“It is ironic that the investment underspend of up to €3bn a year that has been identified today matches the sum that the government stands to gain from selling some of its shares in AIB. Yet the government still refuses to use the profits from the sale of the bailed-out bank to invest in areas that will improve the economic future for all of us.

“This government is totally allergic to the concept of investing now to save later. By refusing to pump public funds into these crucial areas, it is shoring up problems for the future. The productive capacity of the economy will not be boosted unless we invest in our infrastructure, and in people through education and research.”

27 June 2017

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