Ireland promises prudence as it exits bailout

17 Dec 13
Prudent budgeting will be crucial to Ireland’s future economic success, Prime Minister Enda Kenny said as he announced that the country was the first in the eurozone to emerge from its bailout programme.

By Judith Ugwumadu | 17 December 2013

Prudent budgeting will be crucial to Ireland’s future economic success, Prime Minister Enda Kenny said as he announced that the country was the first in the eurozone to emerge from its bailout programme.

Kenny said in a speech at the weekend that the Republic’s ‘good name and credibility’ had been restored. Later this week, Ireland will publish a medium-term economic plan designed to boost growth between now and the end of the decade.

‘It will be a plan based on enterprise, not on speculation,’ Kenny said.

‘A plan to ensure that never again will Ireland’s stability be threatened by speculation and greed. We are never going back to that culture.’

The plan will have two central pillars: prudent budgeting and job creation.

Speaking to the first of these, Kenny said Ireland must continue to pursue prudent budgetary policies. ‘That’s what convinces those who create jobs that Ireland is a place in which they can invest with confidence. Everyone knows that you can’t keep spending more than you are earning. As of today, [Ireland] has already completed over 90% of the necessary cuts and tax increases.’

Ireland would now begin to reduce its national debt burden, he added.

‘So, by 2020, with continued effective management of the public finances, we can eliminate government borrowing and cut public debt by a quarter, relative to the size of the economy.’

The second pillar, focused on getting people back to work, would concentrate on skills, particularly for young people.

‘We will remove the barriers to new jobs in key sectors, and reform the welfare system to provide supports and incentives for unemployed people to take up new jobs,’ said Kenny.

‘Creating more jobs will also improve our public finances and to bring the era of tough budgets to an end.’

Under the bailout programme, the International Monetary Fund and European Union gave Ireland a three-year €85bn package. Of this, €35bn propped up the Irish banking system, while the remaining €50bn was used to the government’s day-to-day spending.

Following exit of the bail out, Ireland would stand as a full member of the eurozone, with the same rules, obligations, supports and opportunities as all other member states, the prime minister said.

 

 

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