Stimulus measures welcomed by IMPACT and ICTU

IMPACT and the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) have welcomed news of the stimulus package announced by the Government today (Tuesday). In all, €2.25bn worth of project funding was announced.

The Dublin Institute of Technology site at Grangegorman is one of the key education projects that have been allocated funds under the range of stimulus measures. The project is set to receive €280m, while new schools and primary care projects are set to benefit from funding under the stimulus programme.
IMPACT general secretary Shay Cody said, “IMPACT has long supported the call for stimulus measures, so today’s news is welcome. It is a vital first step to creating jobs and reversing the trend of declining domestic demand. The focus on education is a positive investment in the future while the focus on primary care has great potential for communities and the social economy.” IMPACT particularly welcomes the go ahead for the Grangegorman project which has been championed by IMPACT members working in the DIT.

ICTU said the plan is good news for Irish workers, and if implemented well, would boost private sector confidence, leading to further growth and described it as an important step in Ireland’s recovery.

Paul Sweeney, Chief Economist of the ICTU said, “Congress has long warned that recovery would take far longer as this recession came on top of a deep financial crisis. This synchronised recession in Europe and the US was made worse with simultaneous deflationary policies which were killing the patients.
“Overall, the level of austerity is failing, choking growth and jobs. The best solution is change policy, not to try harder, Congress has argued for some years. This antidote of investment will greatly aid recovery.

“The package is, of course, in response to the growing recognition, even by the advocates of austerity, of the need for a change in medicine, for the injection of a growth package. Even at our last two meetings with the Troika, there was recognition of the need for some form of domestic stimulus” he said.

Mr Sweeney added, “Congress has proposed a targeted, frontloaded, strategic investment of upwards of an average of €3bn each year over the next three years, in addition to the committed public capital programme; an annual boost worth almost 2% as a share of GDP to the Irish economy. It is clear that Congress’ plan is much more ambitious than the government’s. However, today’s announcement is a big step in the right direction.”