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Backlash against austerity means more countries using Irish model, says Gilmore

The Tánaiste says Ireland’s model has always been to cut costs, while also increasing investment to encourage growth.

TÁNAISTE EAMON GILMORE has said the growing groundswell of opinion in Europe against austerity is a vindication of Ireland’s own economic policy model.

The Labour leader said Ireland’s model had been to combine cost-cutting measures with promoting investment, so that the proportion of national debt against the size of the economy was reduced.

“I’m glad to see that more are taking heed of that – and that European policy is adjusting more to what we’ve been advocating for some time,” the foreign affairs minister said.

“The recovery that needs to come is not recovery based solely on budget adjustment. That’s only part of it – we have to get the deficit down,” he said.

This would be achieved by “creating the circumstances through which there will be investment in the country, jobs created, and we grow our way out of it.”

His comments came after Sinn Féin’s Mary Lou McDonald said the updated stability programme, published earlier this week, had proven that the government’s plans were not working – with a lowering of growth expectations and an increase in unemployment forecasts.

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McDonald had briefly referenced the comments of President Michael D Higgins – but was interrupted by the Ceann Comhairle, Seán Barrett.

“Don’t go there with regard to the President,” Barrett said. “We do not discuss the President in Dáil Eireann.”

Read: Michael D: ‘The EU will become illegitimate without economic reform’

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Gavan Reilly

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