A Formal Request to the Minister: Give us the Information

The UNITE trade union has made a formal request to the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Brendan Howlin, for the Government’s estimate of the effect  their proposed €1 Billion in cuts will have on the economy and public finances.

Jimmy Kelly, UNITE’s Regional Secretary, said:

‘We were told the cuts were necessary but have been offered no justification in terms of the overall economic picture and no indication of the likely effect they will have on jobs and the economic life of ordinary citizens from all walks of life across our communities’

‘No business would be allowed by stakeholders to jeopardise their business by proposing cuts that are not supported by a robust and transparent business case and a forecast of the benefit they might bring in the medium to long term.’

Specifically, UNITE has requested the Government’s estimate of the impact of €1 billion on:

  • Economic growth as measured by both GDP and GNP growth
  • Employment growth and unemployment, and
  • Consumer spending

Finally, we have asked the Government’s estimate on the deficit – in other words, how much the proposed €1 billion cuts will actually save after the impact on growth, employment and consumer spending are factored in.

This information is critical for the public debate.  In the past, public sector cuts have been justified on the basis that we need to get public finances under control.  But no one is asking what the real savings are and what the costs to the economy – in terms of lost jobs, business failures and lower growth – have been.

UNITE has now asked the question and we will keep you updated on the response from the Minister.

You can read our Letter to Minister Howlin here.

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