By Susan Gately - 19 July, 2016
Investing €400m on rural broadband would have better impact on productivity than tax cuts.
Launching Budget Choices 2017 yesterday, Social Justice Ireland called for €1bn in next year’s Budget to be spent on housing, broadband and other infrastructures. They say their fully costed budget proposals can deliver a “vibrant economy, a just society and a sustainable future”.
The main plank of the think-tank’s proposals is to invest in infrastructure rather than giving tax cuts.
Michelle Murphy, Research and Policy Analyst at Social Justice Ireland, said investing €400m of the fiscal space to deliver broadband to rural areas would have a “much better impact on productivity and competitiveness than tax cuts”.
“It will create jobs, support rural entrepreneurs and local business and rejuvenate rural towns and communities. It will also demonstrate Government’s commitment to rural Ireland and to ensuring a more balanced spread of job creation.”
Dr Séan Healy said investing the money in social housing and helping rural Ireland would be more useful than tax cuts.”Government should spend €1bn fiscal space on infrastructure to improve productivity and competitiveness. This would be a far better use of resources than giving tax cuts as incentives to attract ‘Brexit refugees’ from the City of London to Dublin,” he said.
Dr Healy said investment was “crucial” to addressing Ireland’s infrastructure deficits and to delivering a vibrant and sustainable economy and a just society. “Productivity and competitiveness should improve the living standards of everyone in society. Key to improving our performance in these areas is investment in infrastructure and services,” he said.
Social Justice Ireland is proposing the Government allocate €600m of the fiscal space to social housing in Budget 2017. “We also set out proposals for Government to access substantial additional resources for social housing within the fiscal rules,” said Dr Healy.
The main proposals contained in Social Justice’s Budget Choices 2017 are:
Social Justice Ireland is an independent think tank and justice advocacy organisation.