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“The core of this budget should have concentrated on these real challenges

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FINE GAEL CONSISTENTLY WARNED OF MISMANAGEMENT Comments by Richard Bruton TD: “There is a worrying complacency in Government about our enterprise sector. In the last four years, employment in the exposed sector of our economy has been in decline. The rate of job loss has been more than double the rate of the mid nineties, continuous job growth has depended on the sheltered sectors of the economy, most noticeably the building and construction sector…Dramatic acceleration in the growth of public service employment and payroll costs, have forced up taxation meanwhile, the average price of exporters since May 2002 has fallen by 15%. .. It is not enough to live off past successes and ignore the emerging challenges.” stBudget 2005 (1 December 2004) “The core of this budget should have concentrated on these real challenges. • Reform to deliver real improvements at the front line in public services • Improving the competitiveness of businesses trying to survive in tough external markets • Confronting rip off at its source • Eliminating gross waste in public spending thBut these have not been the subject of today’s budget.” Budget 2006 (7 December 2005) “This is the latest in a series of budgets whose pattern was set by the huge spending spree… • Government spending has grown 50% faster than the rate of growth in national income • Government has doubled its dependence on a construction boom which now ...
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FINE GAEL CONSISTENTLY WARNED OF MISMANAGEMENT Comments by Richard Bruton TD: In the last four years, employment inThere is a worrying complacency in Government about our enterprise sector. the exposed sector of our economy has been in decline. The rate of job loss has been more than double the rate of the mid nineties, continuous job growth has depended on the sheltered sectors of the economy, most noticeably the building and construction sector…Dramatic acceleration in the growth of public service employment and payroll costs, have forced up taxation meanwhile, the average price of exporters since May 2002 has fallen by 15%. .. It is not enough to live off past successes and ignore the emerging challenges.”st Budget 2005 (1December 2004) “The core of this budget should have concentrated on these real challenges. Reform to deliver real improvements at the front line in public services Improving the competitiveness of businesses trying to survive in tough external markets Confronting rip off at its source Eliminating gross waste in public spending th But these have not been the subject of today’s budget.”December 2005)2006 (7 Budget“This is the latest in a series of budgets whose pattern was set by the huge spending spree… Government spending has grown 50% faster than the rate of growth in national income Government has doubled its dependence on a construction boom which now contributes 25% of its revenue These, of course, are patterns which cannot be sustained.You cannot build indefinite spending growth on the back of a building boom no more than you can build longterm economic prosperity on the back of a building boom.”th Budget 2007 (5December 2006) “We are past the time for a wakeup call. The alarm bells are ringing…We trail every league in service delivery. We witness bureaucratic madness, screwing up delivery in vital areas like health….The Minister talks smugly of a timely housing correction…The government presides over a dysfunctional housing market…Change in the way taxpayers’ money is spent is already long overdue.” th Budget 2008 (5December 2007) “If ever there was proof that this Government was not capable of leading the country out of this recession, then today's Budget is final proof. No plan for jobs, the wrong balance on tax increases and spending cuts and a dangerous bailout plan for property speculators and banks confirms that this Government is hopelessly out of its depth in dealing with the economic crisis that they caused.” th Emergency Budget 2009 (7April 2009)
th Thursday 18August 2005 Economy hasn’t been this fragile for years – Bruton With exports falling & industry faltering, the Govt has taken its eye off the ball “The Economic Review and Outlook published today reveals the Irish economy is now more fragile than it has been for many years. Beneath the healthy projection of economic growth in the coming year there are worrying indications of vulnerability. “There has been a sharp falloff in exports, industrial productivity is faltering, and the economy relies heavily on the construction industry and consumerism in order to maintain growth. “This is in sharp contrast to the very strong performance in exportled growth over the past decade, which was a key basis for Ireland’s economic success. Additionally, employment in companies supported by industrial development agencies has fallen consistently for four years in a row. Even in a modern economy where there is strong growth in the professions, we cannot afford to ignore internationallytraded goods and services. “The claim that the ‘competitiveness challenge must be met’ lacks any real determination or drive on the Government’s behalf.  TheMinister states that we must keep‘inflationin line with our international peers’. However, Irish inflation is running well ahead of our European neighbours in key areas under Government influence, with health, education, housing & electricity running at two and three times the Eurozone rate.  Lookingback over the last four years,Irish petrol priceshave grown by 12% more than in the rest of Europe. Of the 15.5% increase in the price of petrol since 2001, only 3.5 cent of this is explained by the increase in the international oil prices, with 9 cent explained by a higher tax take from the Government and 3 cent from higher margins. “This Government has made the strategic mistake of not using the boom years to develop and sustain key public services and industries. It is quite obvious the Government has taken its eye off the ball.” Endsth Tuesday 5August 2003 Stagnant receipts and expanding expenditure a testament to failed Govt Budget Strategy – Bruton Income Tax Down €200 Million, Stamp Duty Up €300 Million The Government’s failed budgetary strategy has been exposed once again with the publication of the Exchequer finance figures for the first half of this year, according to Fine Gael’s Finance Spokesperson, Richard Bruton TD. He pointed out that overall receipts were down on the previous period for last year, while tax revenues on their own rose by just 2%, well below Government targets. In the same period, voted expenditure increased by nearly 7%. “The Government’s ‘boom and bust’ style of economic management is now being exposed for the economic joyride that it was. The only thing propping up overall tax revenues is a spiralling Stamp Revenue figure which shows an increase of more than €300 million, a byproduct of ever increasing house prices. Meanwhile, income tax figures are down by €200 million and excise figures are offtarget by 11%.
“What these figures tell us is that the Government’s need to introduce stealth taxes, failure to deliver on insurance reform and infrastructure delivery means that our competitiveness is undermined and jobs are lost, spending is curtailed and the budgetary situation deteriorates. It really is a case of back to basics for the Government. It is time to get real value from investment in public services, to avoid reckless spending for political gain, and to manage the roleout of infrastructure projects with the same efficiency used to roll out EUfunded projects.” Ends st Friday 1December 2006 €4,400 tax hike for every household in 2006 – Bruton Govt tax take has overrun by €8bn in just three years – but public services are still suffering Commenting on the publication of the 2007 Estimates on Receipts & Expenditure, Fine Gael Deputy Leader & Finance Spokesman Richard Bruton TD warned that the Government now depends for 25% of its tax revenue on the property sector. “The Government increased its tax take by 15.6% in 2006, with the tax take growing at twice the rate of people’s incomes. This increase in tax amounts to €4,400 more per household in a single year. “In 2006, the Government raised €3,800 million more than it said it needed at Budget time. This is the third year in a row in which it has done so – a cumulative tax overrun of €8,000 million.This has been used to fuel an increase in the Government’s current spending, which has grown 50% faster than national income over a seven year period! “This is a totally unsustainable fiscal policy, and the Government now depends for 25% of its tax revenue on the property sector. Revenue from the property sector has doubled in the space of just four years. “The prospect for 2007 is that spending will once again grow at least 40% faster than national income. The economy cannot build its long term prosperity on a construction boom. Nor can the Government build its spending growth on this foundation, especially when that spending is not delivering the commensurate improvement in public services. “There should be scope for major tax concessions in the 2007 Budget but the tragedy is that inefficient spending has undermined that opportunity for taxpayers. In just three years this Government has increased tax as a percentage of GNP by 3 points to 30.5%, or 39% GNP if you include Social Insurance and local taxes.” Ends
st Friday 1December 2006 Prices High, Exports Falling and ¼ of All Taxes Dependent on Property Sector – Bruton Current Govt Taxing More, Spending More and Growing Economy Less Quickly than Rainbow Govt nd 2 BudgetAnalysis Paper Highlights Emerging Fragilities in Economy The Government now relies on the property sector for one quarter of all taxes collected by the State. This is a huge jump over the 20022006 period when this sector’s share of taxes jumped from 12.5% to 23% of all taxes collected. The figures were highlighted in the second of three prebudget analysis reports prepared by Fine Gael’s Deputy Leader and Spokesman on Finance, Richard Bruton T.D. The report also identifies the fact that our productivity growth has slumped to its lowest level in 20 years and that publicly controlled prices in Ireland are increasing by 2½ times those of our EU counterparts. “The Irish economy is not invincible. Economic realities will break through if we do not recognise the challenges and prepare to meet them. We cannot sustain prosperity in the long term on the basis of a construction boom and reliance on exports of foreign owned companies. Excessive dependence on both represents a significant vulnerability. “Years of seemingly effortless employment growth has lulled our Government into complacency about Irish economic performance. They’ve forgotten the hard lessons of the 1980s about what it takes to be a success in a small, open economy. Success demands that all economic players, Government included, have to be alert, agile and more adaptable than our competitors. “However, the Government has entirely insulated itself from these tough realities. The preelection spending spree in 2001 marked the start of a casual approach to public spending. It allowed the tight disciplines that applied to public spending in leaner times to become flabby. The table below highlights some of the casual approaches to tax, spending, exports and productivity by the current administration compared to the three years of the Rainbow Government. Key Economic Indicators, Rainbow versus FF/PD 20022006 Inflation TotalTax Spending ExportDebt/ Empl.Productivity GNP% rate legacyTake as %Growth p.a.Perf. GNP Growth Growth% Growth GNP p.a.* Ratio(%) p.a.p.a. p.a. p.a. Rainbow7.8%pts 6.8% 7.81.5 44.2% 3.5%8 pts 199497 FF/PD 2002pts 11.2%2.1 34.0 +3.5pts 3.0%1.5% 4.5% 06  Source:CSO, Dept. of Finance  *Measures the excess of Irish Export Growth over the growth in the Markets to which we sell. “Since 2000, current spending has grown by 120%. Prices over the same period grew by just 28%. The Government has been increasing its spending at a rate 50% faster rate than the growth in the economy and this has sharply increased its aggregate tax take. “The shifting sands have had a dramatic effect. Fifty per cent of the jobs which were in place in IDA and Enterprise Ireland companies five years ago are now gone. While Irish exporters outperformed our competitors consistently for over 20 years, the last five years have been ones of performance way below the market trend. Irish productivity growth has slumped to its lowest levels since the 1980s and it is running at only one third of the level that prevailed a decade ago. “The latest report from the National Competitiveness Council highlights dramatically the nature of our slipping competitiveness and rising costs. Cost comparison of Dublin to Manchester: 1. Wastedisposal 100%dearer 2. Electricity50% dearer 3. Gas20% dearer 4. Insurance40% dearer 5. ITServices 160%dearer
6. Legalservices 35%dearer “To reverse this slippage in key areas of economic performance, Fine Gael in government will build a longterm economic strategy around the central aim of raising productivity throughout the economy. “It is an objective that challenges our spatial and physical planning, our use of technology, our administrative structures, our work practices, our reward systems and our capacity for real political leadership. “It is of course through a government’s own performance that it can make the greatest contribution to this objective. First it must not allow its own activities act as a drag on the country’s capability. This means that:  Itmust not run its fiscal strategy to match the electoral cycle, fuelling a boom for shortterm political advantage.  Itmust not run or regulate sectors in such a way that they add costburdens to businesses and families. “But beyond these we must elevate strategic planning to become the central preoccupation of government. We have to be tough on the accountability of ministers and through them demand performance at every level. If government isn’t performing efficiently and effectively it will continue to expose the rest of the economy to multiple threats. These are rising costs, falling productivity and competitiveness and an over reliance on construction and consumption.” ENDS
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