Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson Pearse Doherty TD has criticised the government and Fianna Fáil-backed plan for a so-called Rainy Day Fund.
The Donegal Deputy’s comments follow the Cabinet announcement that a reserve fund would be set up as a safety net in the event of future economic shocks. Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform Paschal Donohoe said the medium term plan is to build the fund up to €8bn.
Pearse Doherty has today said the fund is no solution to Ireland’s current problems. He said “the immediate crises in health and housing made putting half a billion euro aside in October’s Budget completely unacceptable”.
Deputy Doherty said: “The best way to prepare for a fire is to fireproof your house, not store a cup of water in the hope it will extinguish the flames. The Rainy Day Fund proposal amounts to an ill-thought out and ill-timed plan and is not a solution. We are living through terrible crises in our health system and in our housing system yet the two establishment parties are proposing setting up a fund to syphon money away that could be invested in solving these crises.
“The Irish people were sold the fiscal rules as a way of guaranteeing fiscal discipline and as the way to prevent a boom and bust economy. They are conservative rules but now Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil are proposing to go beyond the rules and deny much needed investment to our economy and society.
“Sinn Féin’s proposal is to build a solid economic foundation within the fiscal rules using the investment permitted to build a strong economic foundation that can withstand any shock.
“For the homeless, the 465 waiting on trollies or in wards, and the thousands on waiting lists, it is already raining. The time is not right for this type of fund and not the right time.”