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New Government must have laser focus on economic revival – Burke

21st June 2020 - Peter Burke TD

If a new Government is formed, it is absolutely critical that its focus is exclusively on economic recovery and renewal from day one with no distractions, a Fine Gael TD has said.

With three parties deciding this week whether to ratify the proposed Programme for Government, Fine Gael TD Peter Burke said, with almost a million people currently in receipt of state income support, it is imperative that the new Government focuses night and day on getting the economy moving again in line with public health advice.

Deputy Burke said: “The accelerated re-opening of our economy and society following Covid-19 makes the Government’s core focus on employment all the more necessary. From June 29th, the majority of businesses will re-open. They need support and certainty, and those who remain in hibernation want the same.

“The Fine Gael negotiating team in the Programme for Government talks ensured there was a clear programme of activity for the new Government to implement, setting out an immediate action plan for economic recovery and renewal. The proposed July Stimulus and Recovery Fund are both crucial to that and the new Government will need to move forward with these actions as quickly as possible if the Government is formed,” Deputy Burke said.

Other immediate action includes:
• Enacting legislation for the €2 billion Credit Guarantee Scheme as well as the warehousing of tax liabilities;
• Reviewing the successful Business Restart Grant and considering further supports for SMEs;
• Scaling up MicroFinance Ireland so it can support greater numbers of small businesses and start-ups to access finance;
• Setting out how commercial rates will be treated for the remainder of 2020.

“The July Stimulus will support business and the retention and creation of jobs to the end of 2020, while at Budget time, the new Government will need to set out its National Economic Plan to guide the long-term approach to restoring the public finances. Work on that longer-term plan will need to start from day one.

“All of this builds upon the measures that have been brought forward to date by Fine Gael in Government, including the €6.5 billion worth of supports to businesses and the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme.

“Make no mistake about this; it is a huge body of work, and the Programme for Government sets out an ambitious but achievable set of actions in this regard. However, we need to ensure that from day one, all parties in government are focused on this.

“Fine Gael led this country out of one recession less than a decade ago, and will do the same again this time,” Deputy Burke said.

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