This week’s Exchequer Returns indicate that the Government is in a strong position to commit to essential capital expenditure, to make up the clear requirements for additional spending in particular on new and refurbished schools, health infrastructure, and housing.
“The Taoiseach, who has constantly referenced income tax cuts as being his preferred option, also needs to explain why given that more people are also now at work, income tax receipts are behind profile.
“With Brexit fast approaching, the economy needs to develop an infrastructure capacity if it is to attract more local and international investment into Ireland.
“The Social Insurance Fund has now moved firmly into surplus position. However, this does not mean that the Government should take its eye off the ball in relation to those individuals and families who still remain without employment.
“Clearly, the other gloss on these figures is the sale of AIB which feature in the returns, but again it is an enormous regret that this very significant boost to the State’s coffers cannot go on Capital Investment- but instead the Government will use all of it to pay down the debt. For example, one option could be to invest the funds in the new national health strategy, Sláinte Care”.