Fine Gael Wicklow TD and member of the Finance Committee, Simon Harris, has today (Friday) welcomed the news that Standard and Poor’s (S&P) has raised its outlook for Ireland from stable to positive, saying that the move is another positive step on our road to regaining our economic sovereignty.
“As already indicated by the Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan TD, the Government is actively planning ahead for how we will continue to fund our public services after we exit the bailout. This upgrade from S&P is a very positive step in this regard, and should make it considerably easier for the Government to access international funds from next year.
“It is significant that the decision from S&P comes just a week after challenging economic data was published, detailing the complex situation facing the Irish economy. With the backdrop of a weaker European economy than hoped, it is very encouraging that the ratings agency has clearly looked at the Irish situation and recognised the efforts of the Government to stabilise our national finances.
“This is a tangible endorsement of the Government’s policy to reduce our budget deficit, and it is recognition of the huge burden the Irish people have taken on over the last number of years. The painful process of rebalancing our finances is not over, but it is clear our efforts are bearing fruit and the economy is on the road to recovery.
“This upgrade also comes just ahead of what will hopefully be the Troika’s penultimate visit to Ireland, and it increases the options open to Minister Noonan as he considers Ireland’s next steps towards regaining our economic sovereignty.
“I know other ratings agencies are also keeping a close eye on Ireland’s national finances and I hope they will follow S&P’s lead in recognising that we are ahead of our targets in reducing our debt as we move towards reclaiming control of our own affairs.”