Speaking today, Green Party Leader Eamon Ryan TD said: “We had hoped that the new Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe, would use the opportunity of his first Summer Economic Statement to set out a clear vision as to where our country goes from here. Unfortunately, there is a lack of any strategic direction in the new Minister’s plans. His speech was all about maintaining economic growth and had nothing to say about what we might want to achieve from such activity.
“We agree on the need to retaining a counter cyclical economic approach but differ from the Minister on the preference for tax cuts ahead of additional spending commitments. We welcome the proposed increase in capital spending but lament the lack of any clear criteria for setting investment priorities.
“There was not a single mention in the Minister's speech to the Dáil or in the Summer Economic Statement about the environmental challenges we face. Nor was there any reference to the opportunities that exist in adopting the digital, clean energy and transport revolutions that are taking place across the world. It is as if our public service has lost the ability to take any risks or the desire to position our country at the heart of this new industrial revolution.
“The only measure for success seems to be achieving abstract economic growth figures. There is no intention to measure real improvements in the quality of our lives. It is as if we are nothing but economic robots, only serving short term economic interests and ignoring the desire to create a more just society and live more sustainably within the natural world.”