The Green Party’s plans to manage the public finances.
In the last couple of years the Irish people have seen very painful budgetary adjustments in the form of cuts in pay, social welfare and services and tax rises.
Regardless of the policies developed to deal with the consequences of this boom and banking collapse, it is clear that Ireland and the Irish people will be paying in some form or another for a number of years to come. However, it is necessary to be clear with the Irish people that the primary budgetary deficit, that is the difference between what we earn and what we spend must be bridged.
Currently, we have made a commitment to our European partners and the IMF that we will aim to save a total of €15bn in four years and the next Government will have to find further savings of €9bn in the years 2012-2014.
The Green Party believes that the €15bn adjustment over the four year period should be based on a 2:1 relationship should apply between adjustments of expenditure and revenue. This, we believe, is the most fair and economically sound way of tackling the deficit.
The underlying principles of the four-year adjustment should be that it:
• Supports economic growth and jobs;
• Is fair;
• Broadens the tax base and ensures it is more sustainable and
• Promotes the move towards a low carbon economy.