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Half of proceeds from sale of State assets can be used for jobs - Howlin

The Public Expenditure and Reform Minister said that negotiations with the Troika had yielded such an agreement with the other half of the money being leveraged for further stimulus measures.

Brendan Howlin
Brendan Howlin
Image: Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland

PUBLIC EXPENDITURE AND Reform Minister Brendan Howlin has said that half of the proceeds from the sale of State assets can be used for the purposes of job creation.

Speaking on RTÉ Radio this morning Howlin said that as well as using 50 per cent of the proceeds from the sale of State assets for job creation, the other half would be used for a fund that would be leveraged for further stimulus measures.

“The totality of the money would be in some shape or another used to leverage stimulus in to the Irish economy,” the Minister told Morning Ireland.

The possibility of half of the money from the long-mooted sale of State assets under the EU/IMF bailout agreement was first raised following the sixth review by the Troika of Ireland’s bailout programme last month.

Howlin now claims that the issue had now been “put on the table ” in discussions with the bailout partners.

“In the beginning the very clear view from the Troika to us was that all of the money from the sale of State assets had to be retire debt. We’ve said no and we’ve argued consistently in each interaction,” Howlin said.

“I’ve dealt directly now in Brussels with the commission, and what I put on the table is to use 50 per cent of the total sale of State assets money to use for job creation and to use the balance of it also to set aside a fund that could leverage further money.”

Howlin also said that funding would go towards “shovel ready” projects in schools and healthcare.

He added that he was ”very confident that we will have a very robust project to get shovels in the ground this year” through funding from the European Investment Bank.

Howlin said he had not put a “quantum” on how much money would be spent this year on projects but said that it would be a “significant supplement” to the €17 billion in capital expenditure that was announced by the government earlier this year.

Read: Labour delegates vote to oppose sale of semi-state assets

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Hugh O'Connell

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