The Minister for Finance Michael Noonan has said today (Friday) that voters should look to Portugal if they want to see how political instability leads to economic instability.
“Political instability leads to economic instability and the Portuguese people are now footing the bill.
“Like Ireland, Portugal was making economic progress. But interest rates on Portuguese 10-year debt have doubled to over 4% in recent weeks as international investors have baulked at the policies of the new coalition Government.
“Yesterday Ireland sold 10-year bonds at a yield of less than 1%. But the recovery is still fragile and if we were forced to pay the same interest rate on our borrowings as Portugal, the recovery would stall and tax increases could be required to pay for political instability.
“The European Commission is now forecasting growth in the Portuguese economy of just 1.6% this year, compared with 4.5% for Ireland.
“Portugal has been forced to table almost €1 billion in additional tax increases to avoid becoming the first eurozone government to have its budget rejected by the European Commission.
“People will have a simple choice to make on the 26th of February. They can stick with the parties and policies that helped us get out of the crisis and now have a Long Term Economic Plan for the economy that will create 200,000 more jobs and allow us abolish the USC. Or vote for Fianna Fáil and an unknown combination who have no credibility and no plan for the economy.
“Fine Gael has a Long Term Economic Plan with three connected steps: more and better jobs; making work pay; and investment in better services. We need political stability to keep the recovery going.”